Local News

July 7, 2014

Chemical accident injures one

An accident Monday morning at a Dalton chemical plant injured one worker and caused officials to briefly close streets around the plant.

The accident happened around 6 a.m. at MFG Chemical on Kimberly Park Drive as workers were mixing chemicals in a reactor.

“We don’t know exactly what happened but the lid did not shut completely or did not shut properly,” said Dalton Fire Chief Bruce Satterfield.

Chemical fumes escaped from the reactor, overcoming one worker.

“It’s our understanding he was right on top of the reactor,” Satterfield said.

The man was taken by ambulance to WellStar Cobb Hospital in Austell. Satterfield did not know the extent of the man’s injuries.

Satterfield said four chemicals were being mixed: maleic anhydride molten low acid grade, alfa olefin 20-24, di-tert-butyl peroxide and aromatic 100 fluid. Officials said the mixture was not poisonous but an irritant.

Satterfield said the chemical reaction did not last long.

“It was probably over before we got our people suited up and ready to go in,” he said.

Asked for information on the accident, MFG President and CEO Charles E. Gavin IV directed a reporter to a press release on the company’s website. In the press release, MFG said the chemical release was “minor” and was contained within the building.

“Professional cleanup is underway; there is no threat to public safety,” the release stated.

But Satterfield said the odor could be smelled nearby, and officials briefly closed down Kimberly Park Drive as well as Willowdale Road and Crow Valley Road, advising those in the area to “shelter in place.”

Satterfield the investigation of the accident will continue.

Officials from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) were on the scene Monday afternoon.

“We do have someone there. But they arrived not too long ago, and we haven’t gotten back any information yet,” said state EPD Director of Compliance Bert Langley.

MFG is privately owned and has been in business for more than 30 years. It has three manufacturing sites and a technical center in Dalton. One of those sites on Callahan Road has seen two serious accidents in the last 10 years.

On April 12, 2004, a runaway chemical reaction during the production of triallyl cyanurate (TAC) released allyl alcohol and allyl chloride. That release forced more than 200 families from their homes and 154 people, including police and ambulance personnel, required treatment for chemical exposure. One MFG employee sustained minor chemical burns. The reactor continued to vent toxic vapor for nearly eight hours and the evacuation order lasted more than nine hours.

A report found MFG did not adequately evaluate the potential hazards of making TAC and had not prepared adequate emergency response plans. The EPD fined MFG $26,000 for the chemical release and the environmental damage it caused.

Another runaway reaction on May 21, 2012, created too much pressure in a reactor, ruptured a dome cover and blew a hole in the roof of the facility. Some 40 people working for other companies in the area had to be decontaminated. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fined the company $77,000 for safety violations after that accident.

Text Only
Local News
  • Little library 1 mlh.jpg Little Libraries, big goal

    Whitfield County just received a new library.
    And better yet, 26 more are on the way to the region.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Picture 3.jpg Rock solid

    A great number of things have come and gone since 1974.
    One that hasn’t: a small Dalton school founded by parents wanting a unique learning environment for their children.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vann House Day '14 6 mlh.jpg History comes alive at Vann House

    SPRING PLACE — In the early 1800s, the 1,000-acre plantation belonging to Cherokee Indian leader James Vann was a bustling place.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • Local officials agree with Deal

    Regarding news last week that approximately 30 unaccompanied minors from Central America, who had crossed the southern border into the United States, were sent without warning to Dalton last year and enrolled in Dalton Public Schools, Republican politicians representing portions of Murray and Whitfield Counties agree — state and local school officials deserved to know in advance, they say.

    July 26, 2014

  • Former chamber location 2 mlh.jpg Plan could cut flooding, stormwater damage in Dalton

    On a recent day, McClellan Creek flowed gently through Harlan Godfrey Civitan Park. But some park goers who live near the area say that even a mild rain can turn the creek into a torrent that eats away at their property.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Civil War anniversary: The Battle of Crow Valley, May 9-12, 1864

    The Atlanta Campaign began during the first two weeks of May 1864 in and around Dalton. Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s strategy was to target two of his armies, about 80,000 men, against Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee at Dalton. Then, while Johnston’s attention was diverted by these forces, he would secretly send his third army, about 25,000 troops under Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson, in a flanking movement to the southwest through Snake Creek Gap. Sherman’s goal was to break Johnston’s railroad supply line some 15 miles south at Resaca and trap Johnston’s Confederates in Dalton.

    July 26, 2014

  • New church being  built mlh.jpg Church construction continues

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Avans.jpg Three arrested in arson plot to claim insurance money

    Three people have been arrested for their role in a fire at a Chatsworth home as part of an insurance scam to collect money, officials said.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • Investigation into MFG chemical accident continues

    An investigation is still ongoing after a MFG Chemical employee was injured earlier this month at a plant on Kimberly Park Drive.

    July 25, 2014

  • Judge sets $100,000 bond for Cohutta man accused of incest, molestation

    A Cohutta man charged with incest, aggravated sodomy and child molestation was granted a $100,000 bond over the prosecutor’s objection on Friday.

    July 25, 2014