Seven people, including two firefighters, were hospitalized late Monday night after a Hazmat situation at a northwest suburban warehouse.
Streamwood police said officials responded to a fire alarm just after 11 p.m. at 1109 East Lake St., where employees at the Chiquita Fresh Express warehouse told them there was a chemical leak.
The large industrial complex processes foods, including packaged salads and vegetables, authorities.
Fire officials confirmed there was an ammonia leak, according to Police Chief Chris Clark, who noted the plant has a large refrigeration system that operates on ammonia. A large amount of that had leaked from damage into an evaporation unit.
Just after midnight, the situation was elevated to a Level 2 Hazmat, bringing in crews from at least eight surrounding suburbs.
The building was evacuated and five people were transported to St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates in good condition after complaining of breathing difficulty, according to Clark. Two firefighters exposed to the vapors were also hospitalized for evaluation.
Crews wearing Hazmat suits could be seen inspecting the warehouse and taking readings. Authorities said they were in the process of ventilating the warehouse as of early Tuesday morning.
"This is a complex incident, and technicians expect to be on scene for several more hours ventilating the building to lower chemical concentration to safe levels within the building," Streamwood police said in a statement.