November 11, 1995 in City

No Long-Term Harm From Boeing Toxic Leak

Associated Press

The toxic release at The Boeing Co.’s Auburn plant that sent 117 people to hospitals did not cause long-term harm to a handful of victims treated at Harborview Medical Center, hospital officials said.

The Center for Chemical Related Illness at Harborview Medical Center said its findings are based on follow-up examinations of 12 patients treated at the center after the Nov. 3 accident.

The chemical release occurred when a highly toxic mix of nitric and hydrofluoric acid was mistakenly transferred into an unlined steel tank, causing a reaction that sent a noxious yellow-orange cloud at least 70 feet into the air, Boeing officials said.

Those that came into contact with the oxides in the cloud complained of burning eyes and throats, difficulty breathing and a metallic taste.

The Harborview center said Thursday that none of the 18 people admitted to Harborview had a condition preventing full return to work.

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