JURUPA VALLEY (CBSLA.com/AP) — Authorities called 12 ambulances Friday night to an industrial area of Jurupa Valley after dozens of warehouse workers became ill from an odor in a trailer.
The incident was reported shortly after 8 p.m. at Swift Transportation, which is a distribution center for Wal-Mart and Samy’s Club, located at 11888 Mission Boulevard, according to Cal Fire.
Officials say 43 employees were transported to a hospital, three of whom were listed in serious condition.
The Riverside County Fire Department says hazardous material specialists determined the chemical was sodium benzoate, a food preservative that becomes a respiratory irritant when combined with moisture.
Lisa Mann says her daughter, who works in the warehouse, told her a chemical had exploded inside the trailer. Mann said her daughter had trouble breathing after the accident.
“Nothing’s been told to none of us,” Mann said of the factory’s response.
Firefighters say the chemical has been contained.