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LOCAL : 100 Flee Mystery Chemical Odor

October 19, 1989| From Times staff and wire service reports

A suspected chemical leak at McDonnell Douglas Space Systems in Huntington Beach sent four people to the hospital for tests today and prompted an evacuation of about 100 workers from one of the company buildings.

The evacuation of Building 28 at the 250-acre plant began at 7:30 a.m. when workers reported a strange odor. Four people who complained of dizziness were treated at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center and released after tests showed that their blood gas levels were normal.

Hazardous materials teams from Westminster, Huntington Beach and Newport Beach fire departments spent nearly three hours examining the building, but could find no sign of a spill or a leak, said Birgit Davis, a Fire Department spokesperson.

Thomas Williams, a McDonnell Douglas spokesman, said gallium arsenide microchips, a highly advanced semiconductor used for research, are made in Building 28. He said he did not know what kinds of chemicals in the plant could cause problems if they leaked.

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