UPDATE: OSHA Investigating Workers Getting Ill at DuPont Plant

By: Cathleen Moxley, Anna Baxter, The Associated Press Email
By: Cathleen Moxley, Anna Baxter, The Associated Press Email

UPDATE 10/4/11
BELLE, W.Va. (AP) - The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration wants to know what caused three workers at DuPont plant in Belle to fall ill.

An OSHA spokeswoman says the agency is investigating the illnesses to prevent a recurrence.

The workers were sickened at different times last week.

DuPont spokesman David Hastings says in a statement that all three workers had been in an area of the plant that's shut down for scheduled maintenance.

Hastings says DuPont officials believe the workers may have been exposed to a sulfur compound released from a process waste residue.

DuPont also is investigating.

UPDATE 9/30/11
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The final DuPont employee, in the hospital after becoming sick at the plant in Belle has been released from the hospital.

Three workers were hospitalized on September 27 and the plant believes chemical fumes are to blame for the workers getting sick.

UPDATE 9/29/11 @ 1:55 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- An employee is still in the hospital Thursday after becoming sick at the DuPont Plant in Belle.

In a statement released from the company, the employee remains in stable condition, but his condition is improving.

The spokesperson says out respect for his privacy, the company cannot provide more information.

At this point, the plant believes chemical fumes are to blame for the worker getting sick. Two other employees experienced similar symptoms.

UPDATE 9/28/11 @ 8:25 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- One DuPont employee remained hospitalized Wednesday in stable condition, while a contract employee who was hospitalized Tuesday for observation was released Wednesday, a plant spokesman tells WSAZ.com.

There was no word on when the man who remains hospitalized will be released. The company says, "We remain hopeful that it will be soon."

The company also said the following in a statement:

"We continue to investigate the incident. Our preliminary investigation suggests that the workers were exposed to chemical fumes while conducting maintenance work. The small amount of material that appears to have caused the fuming was promptly cleaned up at that time on Monday."

UPDATE 9/27/11 @ 6:15 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Two of three DuPont employees who became ill on the job remain in the hospital.

At this point, the plant believes chemical fumes are to blame for the workers getting sick.

A DuPont spokesperson says the workers suffered respiratory problems after doing maintenance work in an area of the plant that's shut down for scheduled maintenance.

All three were working in that same area at the same time Monday afternoon.

Two employees reported to the plant's medical facility Monday night before going to the hospital.

One was released, but the other remains in stable condition.

Tuesday morning, another worker went to the hospital and is under evaluation.

"We are very hopeful that both workers will be released from the hospital by tomorrow," said DuPont Regional Manager, David Hastings.

Hastings says the workers were exposed to a small amount of chemical fumes at the plant.

There’s no word yet if the problem has been fixed.

BELLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Three employees at the DuPont plant in Belle have been taken to the hospital after becoming ill while working at the plant.

The three employees felt sick at different times Monday night and Tuesday morning.

The first incident was reported about 7:00 p.m. Monday.

According to a statement, the first DuPont employee felt ill after conducting maintenance work in an area of the plant that is shut down for scheduled maintenance.

The employee was examined by the plant's medical staff.

A spokesperson with DuPont Operations Public Affairs, states this employee was later transported to a local hospital, where he remains in stable condition.

The second employee reported feeling ill just a short time after the first incident was reported.

According to the release, this employee was working in the same area when he also felt sick. This worker has been treated and released from the hospital.

Then, Tuesday morning, a plant contract employee who was also working in the area Monday reported to the plant medical facility with similar symptoms. He has been transported to the hospital for evaluation.

There's no word on that worker's condition.

The plant is currently conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the workers' symptoms, according to the statement.

The company is not releasing any more information at this time.

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