Chemical spill at Birmingham Water Works plant sends more than 3 dozen to hospital

The Birmingham Water Works released the following statement: "An accidental mix of sodium hypochlorite (which is essentially bleach) and ferric sulfate caused a chlorine off gas at our Shades Mountain Filter Plant.
We’re working with Birmingham Fire & Rescue, hazmat, and other municipalities on the incident.
Here’s the statement from Birmingham Fire and Rescue: "At around 0900 this morning, BFRS was called for a hazmat release at the Shades Mountain Water Treatment facility on Hwy 280 at Shades Crest Rd.
Both of these chemicals are normally on site at the water treatment facility and are used in the water treatment process.
"14 people on site were transported to area hospitals with difficulty breathing, and another 40 were transported by bus as a precaution, although they presented no ill effects.
The area around the water treatment facility, including Highway 280, remained closed while air monitoring was conducted.
— Authorities say 35 to 40 people have been taken to the hospital out of precaution after a chemical spill at the Birmingham Water Works plant on Highway 280.
Vestavia Hills Fire Department called for aid from other fire departments to assist.
Vestavia Hills police closed the following roads: Shades Crest at Beaumont Drive, Rocky Ridge Road at Morning Star Drive and Hwy 280 west bound at Dolly Ridge Road.
We have crews on the scene and will bring updates as they become available.

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