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Angeles County | Community News File / Hawthorne

Toxic Leak Injures 10, Forces Evacuation of 450

July 22, 1998

A chemical leak at a computerchip manufacturing company sent 10 people to the hospital with injuries, temporarily closed a major street and forced the evacuation of 450 people Tuesday afternoon, county fire officials said.

Ten victims were taken to three hospitals with headaches, nausea, and throat and skin irritation because of contact with Dichlorosilane,a chemical used in the manufacture of computer chips, said Inspector Mark Tolbert of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Firefighters responded to a 1:53 p.m. call of a hazardous material leak at UDT Sensor.

More than 40 firefighters in 15 units, including a hazardous materials team, arrived on the scene where a 200-pound cylinder used to make computer chips was leaking the toxic and flammable material inside the building.

Authorities evacuated more than 400 people from the 100,000-square-foot factory and temporarily shut down El Segundo Boulevard, Tolbert said.

Occupants of six or seven nearby buildings either "voluntarily evacuated the area or took shelter in place," Tolbert said.

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