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3 Injured In Chemical Explosion At Polk County Warehouse

Lakeland Fire Department

Authorities say three people suffered injuries in a chemical explosion at a Polk County warehouse.

Lakeland Fire Department officials said about 50 people were evacuated from the area around the Natural Advantage Food Flavorings plant on Friday afternoon. Sixteen people, including six employees, six nearby people and four firefighters were decontaminated.

Two victims were taken to Tampa General Hospital and another went to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. All three suffered chemical burns.

Fire officials say two chemicals, toluene and sodium hypochlorite, likely caused the explosion. Officials say the chemicals are used to clean the kettles food flavorings are made in.

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