An employee at a Des Moines plating company was injured Tuesday morning after falling into a tank of chemicals heated to more than 300 degrees. The vat was filled with chemicals similar to Drano.
The Des Moines Fire Department says its HAZMAT team was called to 2100 NE 60th Avenue to assist with decontamination efforts at Barrett Plating, Inc. The company specializes in zinc plating.
Brian O’Keefe with the fire department says two employees had been trying to recover metal parts that had fallen to the bottom of a five-foot-deep container of super-heated chemicals when the accident happened. One the workers started to fall into the tank and the other grabbed him and pulled him off to the side, preventing full submersion in the chemicals.
“He caught him and was able to pull him to the side so only his lower extremities were exposed,” says O’Keefe.
Decontamination efforts began immediately and the injured man was taken to a local hospital by private ambulance.
The company is not commenting on the incident and the names of those involved have not been released. While the condition of the worker is not known at this time, fire officials say he is being treated at the burn unit in Iowa City.