TYLER, TX - The City of Tyler Water Department announced this morning that they experienced a leak in a chlorine pipe at the Lake Palestine Water Treatment Plant. A hazardous materials unit from the Tyler Fire Department responded to the scene and was able to secure the area and ensure the chlorine that leaked had dissipated.
"At approximately 6:45 a.m. an alarm at the plant alerted staff that there was a leak," said Managing Director of Water Utilities Greg Morgan. "In accordance with standard protocol, the Fire Department was notified to begin response and plant workers donned emergency breathing apparatus and were able to close the emergency shut off valves – stopping the leak."
According to city officials, one city employee, who was arriving to work at the time, is believed to have been exposed to the chlorine. He drove through the cloud of gas with his window rolled down.
"There's an alarm on the building with a detector attached to it that sounds an alarm. Upon hearing the alarm the operator on duty and responded, of course, with our standard protocols," Morgan added.
He was transported to the hospital and is underwent treatment. He has since been released.
The fire department ventilated the area and cleared the scene. No evacuation outside of the plant property was needed. City workers are currently returning to their work stations at the plant. The gas was stored in a cylinder.
"'At this time we do not know what caused the leak to occur," said Morgan. "However, we will be investigating further."