About 70 taken ill after California chemical plant leak

Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:06pm IST

(Reuters) - About 70 people were taken ill after a sulphuric acid leak at a chemical company in California late on Monday, Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said.

People in the Carson area complained of throat and nose irritation and vomiting after being exposed to an "apparent sulphuric acid release in the air from a neighboring business," Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman Robert Diaz said.

Thirteen people were treated at local hospitals and later released, Fire Department official Phil Ulloa said. Others were treated at the scene.

Ulloa said the leak was caused by a scrubber machine malfunctioning at the Solvay chemical plant.

It was not immediately clear if there were any workers at the Solvay plant at the time of the leak.

Diaz said any threat to public safety "had been mitigated." Carson is a city of about 92,000 in Los Angeles County, California.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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