Six people were sent to hospitals Wednesday evening after a gallon of formaldehyde was spilled inside the Mission Veterinary Emergency & Specialty, a fire official said.
Firefighters with Johnson County Consolidated Fire District No. 2 responded shortly after 4 p.m. on a hazmat call to investigate a chemical spill at the 24-hour veterinary clinic at 5914 Johnson Drive, said Deputy Chief Mike Morse.
Arriving firefighters learned that most of the chemical had been cleaned up, but several people who had interacted with the chemicals started to feel ill, Morse said.
The call was upgraded to a hazardous material spill and additional firefighters and ambulances responded, including an Overland Park Fire Department hazmat team.
The building was evacuated and six people were taken to hospitals as a precaution, where they were treated and released, Morse said. There were about two dozen people inside the building at the time of the chemical spill.
Firefighters used fans to ventilate the building before allowing employees back inside at about 7:30 p.m.
While the spill was being cleaned up and the building was being ventilated, Mission Veterinary Emergency & Specialty posted to Facebook that it was “experiencing an unexpected event and will be temporarily rerouting patient arrivals to our sister location, Overland Park Veterinary Emergency and Specialty.”
The post was later updated to say that they had resumed 24-hour emergency and critical care services.
Morse said it’s important that when working with a large amount of chemicals to understand what dangers they pose in case they are spilled. It’s also important to know what precautions to take to protect your breathing and skin.
“And don’t hesitate to call the fire department,” Morse said.