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Employees Return To Fridley Plant After Evacuation

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FRIDLEY, Minn. (AP) — Employees were been allowed back at a Fridley metal plating plant Tuesday afternoon after two acids apparently reacted and splashed some workers.

Rob Clark, director of operations for Incertec Plating, says the evacuation of all 70 or so employees was ordered around 11 a.m. Tuesday, mostly a precaution. He says an undisclosed material under pressure blew at Incertec’s Fridley facility, but that it was not an explosion.

Clark, who is based out of Incertec’s Kansas facility, says no one was injured, but that three people who were nearest the incident suffered minor chemical burns. The three employees were immediately washed at an on-site rinsing unit and also were rinsed by firefighters. All three were taken to a hospital, treated and released.

Fridley Fire Chief John Berg says some employees were working with nitric acid and phosphoric acid when the acids apparently reacted, blew the lid off the container and splashed three employees. The nitric acid is used to clean the filtering system on a daily basis, so it’s unknown how the reaction occurred.

Workers were allowed back about 12:30 p.m, and all plating operations resumed at the plant by 2 p.m.

Officials with Incertec said the company specializes in custom plating solutions for industries and products where precision is critical. That includes military, aerospace, medical devices and electronics. Officials also said the company has an exemplary record with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, adhering to the highest standards and constantly reviewing safety procedures.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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