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Five hospitalized after cylinder ruptures at Hurst recycling facility

  • T&T Recycling, on Illinois Route 149 in Hurst Monday afternoon after emergency vehicles left.

    T&T Recycling, on Illinois Route 149 in Hurst Monday afternoon after emergency vehicles left.
    Geoff Ritter photo

 
By Holly Kee
hkee@localsouthernnews.com
updated: 12/18/2021 1:03 PM

HURST -- A ruptured cylinder emitting an unknown substance at a Williamson County recycling company sent five people to the hospital on Monday.

According to a member of the MAVIS Division 45 Hazmat team that responded to T&T Recycling in Hurst on Monday, an unmarked cylinder was cut open, and some kind of product emitted.

Marion firefighter Lindon Perzee said about 10 people were exposed to whatever was coming out of the cylinder, and some of those had a reaction, mostly lung irritation.

He said four people were taken to Herrin Hospital and one was airlifted to St. John's Mercy Hospital in St. Louis.

It is unknown what their conditions are.

According to WFCN News, which had a reporter on the scene while firefighters were still there, a decontamination unit was on site for at least several hours.

Perzee said about 20 Hazmat team members from area departments responded to the Hurst facility.

He said the cylinder was empty by the time emergency personnel arrived on the scene.

"We are unsure what the product was," said Perzee. "I'm not sure if we will be able to (identify) that."

Perzee said the MAVIS team trains every other month for emergencies like this one.

This newspaper was unable to reach anyone at the Hurst Fire Department that was in charge of the initial response.

Officials at Herrin Hospital offered no comment on Monday afternoon.

A spokesman for the Williamson County Sheriff's Department said the incident has been turned over to the Illinois Fire Marshal for investigation.

• Staff writer/editor Geoff Ritter contributed to this report.