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Coast Guard rescues 2 exposed to chemical in Galveston

Jayme Frase, Houston Chronicle
Published 5:21 pm, Sunday, December 23, 2012
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A Coast Guard boat took two members of a Panamanian tank ship docked in Galveston to the hospital Sunday after an accidental chemical exposure.

The two men had reportedly been fixing a frozen line of phenol aboard the 478-foot Siva Rotterdam when it broke, according to a Coast Guard statement.

One man was sprayed and felt burning. The other was vomiting from inhalation exposure.

The Coast Guard estimates they were exposed to less than 5 ounces of phenol, an acid with many commercial uses, including creating plastics, nylon, herbicides and some pharmaceuticals.

Hazardous Materials and EMS crews evaluated the men on shore to determine appropriate decontamination and to transfer them to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston for care.

The Coast Guard is investigating the incident.