“It seems to be contained to the facility itself,” a spokesperson for the Pawtucket Police Department told Fox News. “We’re not sure exactly what the employees were exposed to, but we think it was some type of irritant.”
Pawtucket’s acting public safety director, Chief Tina Goncalves, told WPRI that authorities were initially called to the scene and “determined that an odor or smell in the air had caused [an employee] difficulty breathing.”
“PFD has reason to believe that I was some type of chemical spill as several other individuals stated that they had irritation in their eyes, nose mouth, and/or throat,” she said in a statement to the news outlet.
The chemical spill happened at Bio-Detek, a ZOLL company that “designs and manufactures a wide variety of electrodes for defibrillation, monitoring, and multifunction use.”
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, the Pawtucket Fire Department, and other agencies also responded to the scene, which is being treated as a hazmat incident.