Cause of hazmat incident at Pawtucket medical facility remains unknown

Blackstone Valley

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Investigators were unable to determine the cause of a hazmat incident at a Pawtucket facility that sent 20 employees to the hospital Thursday evening.

The incident occurred at Zoll Medical, which manufactures medical devices, on Narragansett Drive.

Chief Tina Goncalves, Pawtucket’s acting public safety director, said first responders were called to the facility for reports of a woman who was having difficulty breathing.

Goncalves said the woman was evaluated on scene and first responders determined that an odor in the air was causing her symptoms.

The building was then evacuated and all employees were sent home for the night.

In a statement to 12 News, Zoll Medical said all 20 employees that were transported to the hospital have since been released.

Goncalves said they initially believed “some type of chemical spill” had occurred, but Zoll Medical said that has since been ruled out.

“The facility was inspected by the Pawtucket Fire Department, hazmat teams and other agencies, and an explanation for the situation was not found,” the company said.

The facility reopened and employees were allowed to return to work Friday morning.

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