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Monday, October 19, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Toxic leak sickens three workers at North County Transfer Station in Colbert

UPDATED: Tue., May 1, 2018

Three workers were hospitalized Monday afternoon after a hazardous substance was released at the waste-transfer station in north Spokane County. (Spokane County)
Three workers were hospitalized Monday afternoon after a hazardous substance was released at the waste-transfer station in north Spokane County. (Spokane County)

Three workers were hospitalized Monday afternoon after a hazardous substance was released at the waste-transfer station in north Spokane County.

County spokeswoman Martha Lou Wheatley-Billeter said an aerosol can burst sometime between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. while it was being compacted on the tipping floor of the facility near Colbert.

“Apparently, somebody put in some kind of hazardous household waste with their garbage,” Wheatley-Billeter said. “We’re hoping to find out soon what it was and where it came from.”

The three workers experienced symptoms ranging from skin irritation to vomiting, she said. The fire department responded, and two of the workers were taken to Deaconess Hospital for observation. One was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.

“They’re all expected to be OK,” Wheatley-Billeter said.

The county hired Clean Harbors Environmental Services Inc. to investigate the incident and identify the aerosol substance.

The transfer station was closed following the leak. Wheatley-Billeter said it was expected to reopen Tuesday morning.

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