MILFORD (CBS) — Five people were injured by a hydrofluoric acid spill in Milford, according to the State Fire Marshal. A hazmat team responded to PEI, a metal etching company, at 500 Fortune Boulevard midday Monday.
“We got a call for an industrial accident that involved a potential acid spill in an employee’s face,” said Milford Police Chief William Touhey Jr.
Milford’s fire chief says it happened around noontime when a worker on a hand truck lost control of a 55-gallon drum of hydrofluoric acid.
“Upon arrival we found out that we potentially had upwards of four victims, ended up with five victims, one self-presented at the hospital,” said Touhey.
The victim with injuries to their face was taken UMass Medical Center in Worcester. Four others were treated for inhalation at a local hospital.
Authorities say this type of accident is rare and say employee training helped avoid serious injury. “The employees were fast to react to neutralizing agents and all of the patients were decontaminated prior to being put in ambulances,” Touhey said.
The victims are expected to recover. Crews are cleaning up the spill and the business could reopen as early as Tuesday.