More Than 100 Rushed to Hospital After Major Chemical Spill

It was reported four days ago by the Atchison City, Kansas, Manager’s Office that sodium hydrochlorite, also known as sodium hypochlorite, and sulfuric acid, were accidentally mixed together in the wrong holding tank on Friday morning, at MGP Ingredients Inc., causing a chemical reaction which resulted in 102 people being treated in hospital.




Most patients were treated, observed and released, but three patients had to be admitted to Atchison Hospital and one patient was later admitted to the ICU but was in stable condition. One additional patient was transferred to Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph for heart problems relating to the spill.

By 11 a.m. on Friday, however, the dangerous emissions had dispersed and the air was safe to breathe again after a huge gas cloud had egulfed the city for nearly 90 minutes. Police had asked 11,000 Atchinson residents to stay in their homes for up to two hours.





In a news release, MGP said that they reported the event to the EPA and the appropriate state and local authorities, and were “cooperating fully to investigate and ensure that all appropriate response actions are taken.”

Our friends at KSHBhave explained just what happens when sodium hydrochlorite and sulphuric acid are mixed together:


Sodium hydrochlorite is a stabilized form of chlorine.

It’s also not the same strength you use in your house which is only about 3 percent to 6 percent sodium hydrochlorite AND is mixed with water. Also, because chlorine is also broken down by sunlight that might explain why the gas dispersed later in the day.


Sulfuric acid is an extremely corrosive oxidizer. When mixed together, the two chemicals create a very toxic chlorine gas.






If you think you might be at risk of having been exposed you might notice nose, throat, eye irritation and or a headache. Pay attention to how you are feeling and treat your symptoms with a shower, rest in cool air. If your symptoms are worse, such as if you are wheezing or have an excessive cough, you should go to the emergency room.







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