117 FedEx Workers Treated After Chemical Accident

(Memphis) 117 FedEx employees at the Super Hub at the Memphis Airport were treated for side effects after the release of a substance used to make pepper spray.

A forklift driver accidentally punctured a five-gallon barrel around 2:30 a.m.

“We have determined the product of that container was a concentrated form of chili pepper. These chili peppers are used to make pepper spray,” said Lt. Wayne Cooke with the Memphis Fire Department.

The workers complained of respiratory problems, itchy skin and burning eyes.

Most of the workers were treated on the scene, but two were taken to the hospital for evaluation.

“We set up a facility in their fire station. We were able to decontaminate them using soap and water to wash their faces and hands clean,” said Cooke.

Nine ambulances were sent to the scene.

Fedex Official Chris Stanley said the company ships hazardous materials daily, but he was not sure if this was marked as a hazardous material, “For everything you ship with us, you have to mark what’s there, what’s in the bill, especially dangerous goods.”

We’re told most of the impacted workers either returned to work, or left at the end of their shifts.

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