ATCHISON, KAS. — A chemical incident at MGP Ingredients in Atchison led to a gaseous plume covering a “good portion” of the city on Friday morning, Oct. 21, said Trey Cocking, city manager of Atchison, in a news conference. Eighteen people were treated for respiratory problems and discomfort, but the injuries appeared to be minor, he said.
Students were evacuated from a middle school, a high school and Benedictine College in Atchison. Later in the day the City of Atchison on its Facebook page reported it was safe to go outside again.
Based in Atchison, MGP Ingredients supplies premium distilled spirits and specialty wheat proteins and starches.
MGP Ingredients said a chemical release occurred at its plant about 8 a.m. Oct. 21. The reaction resulted in emissions venting into the air. Based on observations by local officials, the emissions had dispersed by 11 a.m., MGP Ingredients said.
The company said it has reported the event to the Environmental Protection Agency and Kansas and local authorities. MGP Ingredients said it was cooperating fully to investigate and ensure that all appropriate response actions are taken, and the company has engaged outside experts to assist in the investigation and response.
The incident caused no significant damage to the Atchison plant. No other MGP Ingredients facilities were affected.