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'Mass Hysteria,' 30 Hospitalized After Hazmat Incident At Salem Business

SALEM (CBS) – A large hazmat response was called to a Salem company Sunday night after a possible chemical leak.

The first incident was reported Sunday around 3:30 p.m. at 1 Technology Way. A chlorine leak was reported in a chemical storage room at Thermal Circuits. A Tier 2 hazmat response was called in and the building deemed safe around 8 p.m. No injuries were reported.

Then around 9:30 p.m., multiple ambulances were requested back to the scene. The state fire marshal's office said about 30 people went to the hospital and that "few if any patients were expected to be admitted." Patients were reporting difficulty breathing, nausea and other symptoms.

Salem Deputy Fire Chief Alan Dionne said "there seemed to be a panic in the building," and workers began running from the facility. Dionne described a "mass hysteria" among employees trying to exit.

Firefighters did not detect any chlorine in the building during the second incident.

Thermal Circuits makes heating components for a variety of devices, including e-cigarettes.

When asked if the business would reopen on Monday, Dionne said "absolutely not."

Clarification: An earlier version of this story identified Thermal Circuits as an e-cigarette manufacturer. They manufacture heating elements used in making e-cigarettes and other devices.

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