Saputo Cheese plant evacuated following chlorine gas leak
ALTO – Two employees were transported to an area hospital following a chlorine leak at the Saputo Cheese plant in Alto Thursday morning.
According to Fond du Lac County Sheriff Ryan Waldschmidt, rescue workers from multiple fire departments were called to the scene around 7:37 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, for the report of an unintentional release of chlorine gas.
Waldschmidt said two employees were switching chlorine cylinders at the time and were exposed to the chlorine. The workers who had difficulty breathing were transported to Waupun Memorial Hospital by LifeStar Ambulance for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
Approximately 125 employees who were in the plant at the time, were evacuated and transported by bus to the Alto Community Center. Residents in 10 nearby homes were also evacuated while the Fond du Lac Fire Rescue HAZMAT team managed the chemical release.
Employees and residents remained at the community center for several hours while the HAZMAT team worked to ventilate the affected areas in the plant, the Sheriff said.
Traffic around the plant was also diverted as County Trunk EE was closed between County Trunks AS and E.
Fire departments from Alto, City of Fond du Lac, Brandon-Fairwater, Beaver Dam, Brownsville, Markesan, Waupun, and Rosendale assisted at the scene along with LifeStar EMS.