Watch CBS News

54 employees sent to hospital after hazmat situation at Sharp Packaging Solutions in Allentown

Lehigh County officials investigating potential hazmat situation inside Allentown facility
Lehigh County officials investigating potential hazmat situation inside Allentown facility 01:37

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (CBS) -- Fifty-four people were sent to the hospital after a hazmat situation was reported at the Sharp Packing Solutions building on the 7400 block of Keebler Way in Allentown, Pennsylvania Friday afternoon.

Upper Macungie Township Police Department responded to the pharmaceutical packaging company just after 12 p.m. on reports of a chemical odor making employees feel sick. 

Immediately after that smell was detected, production was stopped and the building was evacuated.  

After arriving, police said they were told many of the employees experienced nausea, vomiting, headaches and hoarseness in their throats. Out of 154 employees, 54 were taken to local hospitals for further evaluation. 

Twenty of the 54 employees were transported to Lehigh Valley Health Network's Emergency Room at Cedar Crest. A hospital spokesperson said all of the patients were observed as a precaution and are expected to be okay. 

Lehigh County Special Operations and fire officials found no abnormal readings at the scene, police said. 

It's still unclear what the source of the odor was.

A Sharp spokesperson shared the following statement with CBS News Philadelphia following reports of the hazmat situation. 

"We are deeply grateful for the swift and thorough response from local emergency services, and we are currently working closely with local officials to investigate the source of the odor in Building 01 of our Allentown campus. The building's production floor was shut down and evacuated, and we understand those staff who experienced symptoms are recovering at area hospitals or at home. At this time, Sharp's Environment Health and Safety leaders and facility management are coordinating with local officials to investigate and address the source of the odor. The Special Operations Team from the County of Lehigh Emergency Management Agency conducted an extensive hazardous materials evaluation of the impact area and found no evidence of any hazardous chemicals or odors. We will remain in contact with local officials and keep our employees informed when we have more to share."  

Sharp Packing Solutions is a pharmaceutical packaging company.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.