Miami County HazMat team responds to incident at Meijer Distribution Center


By Mike Ullery

[email protected]

TIPP CITY — The Miami County HazMat team was activated to respond the Meijer Distribution Center on South County Road 25A Sunday following a Tipp City Fire/EMS call to one of the buildings on the Meijer property.

The initial call for service came in at 6:26 a.m. on Sunday, March 2, when it was reported that a Meijer employee was suffering “respiratory issues,” according to a press release from Tipp City Fire/EMS Chief Cameron Haller.

The victim was inside a building identified as the “creamery.”

Arriving crews found a single victim with inhalation issues from a chemical reaction. The employee removed himself from the affected area and the areas was evacuated.

Decontamination measures were undertaken on the victim who was then transported by Tipp City EMS to a local hospital. The patient, a Meijer employee, was treated and released.

Tipp City Fire personnel on the scene were able to confirm that a combination of an acid solution and a caustic solution in cleaning materials had been introduced into the same line without the line being rinsed first. The mixture of the two gasses created an unspecified toxic gas.

Operations in the plant were halted and the entire area ventilated and flushed with “copious amounts of water.”

The HazMat team then entered the area where they collected information, donned the appropriate personal protective equipment, monitoring equipment and made entry, the release said. The goal of the entry team was to ascertain that the air in the affected area had returned to normal atmospheric conditions. The entry team confirmed that the atmosphere was safe.

When finished, the entry team also went through decontamination procedures.

Haller said a team from Meijer assisted in the decontamination process.

The situation was caused by an error in mixing of chemicals and was not intentional according to the press release.

No further injuries were reported. Crews were on the scene for about four hours.

Haller stressed this incident was in no way connected to another HazMat situation on the Meijer Distribution grounds last month.

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