2 critical, 1 serious after chemical exposure during Henrietta NY building demolition

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Henrietta, N.Y. (WHAM) – Three people are suffering serious medical symptoms related to a chemical exposure in Henrietta on Monday morning.

Firefighters from the Henrietta Fire District are at the former Amesbury Truth building on Jefferson Road near North Winton Road.

While workers were doing demolition work on site, they were exposed to a dangerous chemical after hitting a pipe. The chemical to which the workers were exposed is methylenediphenyl diisocyanate (MDI). MDI is used to make more dense polyurethane foam insulation.

“There were 3 to 4 large tanks of this material,” said Mark Cholach, assistant fire chief with the Henrietta Fire District. “The tanks had been cleaned out. They were in the process demolishing those tanks and the associated pipes that ran from the tanks to the building. It appears during the demo of one of those pipes, the chemical came out and was exposed to the patients.”

A total of five workers were affected by the exposure. Two of the workers are considered critical, while a third is considered to be in serious condition. Two others have minor medical symptoms; fire officials did not have additional information as to what that consisted of.

Officials are working to determine the extent of chemical leak now. There are about 50 personnel on scene, according to fire officials.

Businesses inside the building have been evacuated for the day.

The Monroe County Hazmat Team will spend about four more hours here to contain the leak.

by Tanner Jubenville, WHAMMonday, March 11th 2019

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