8 hospitalized in Hammonton hazmat situation

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8 people were taken to the hospital after a hazmat situation in Hammonton, NJ. (WPVI)

A hazmat situation at a South Jersey business left a number of people feeling sick.

Emergency personnel were called out to Home Solutions in the 1000 block of Grand Street in Hammonton around 11:40 a.m. Wednesday.

"Just around lunchtime, people started not feeling well in the building either nauseous or headachy, that kind of thing," employee Melanie Sponholz said.

About 100 people work at the administrative offices.

Paramedics assessed 32 employees on the scene.

8 went to local hospitals for further observation.

Two were airlifted by medical chopper.

"They were complaining of a burning sensation in their respiratory system. I don't know whether those two were the closest to the affected area, but because of the seriousness of that nature, any respiratory injuries are taken to a trauma center," Lt. Kevin Friel of Hammonton Police Department said.

County emergency management and HAZMAT units responded and started to look for the source of the chemical odor.

They detected levels of a refrigerant in some of the duct work, most likely caused by a malfunction with the HVAC system.

"The county went in, ran some tests and believe that it is a refrigerant of some sort either an R22 or some other fluoromethane refrigerant that's used possibly from the HVAC system," Friel said.

Home Solutions manufactures and administers IV therapies, but no medical products or chemicals are stored here.

The building management company was on site to clean out the air ducts and try to figure out where exactly the chemical smell was coming from.

At this point there have been no readings in the building for a few hours.

It's unclear if the business will reopen tomorrow.

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hazmatn.j. newsHammonton
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