Company quarantined after haz-mat crews visit

Local law enforcement vehicles lined the roadway Thursday, Aug. 31, after Chris Christensen Systems were forced to call in a HAZMAT team from Waco to investigate a mysterious black powder that made employees ill. No hazardous materials were found.
Photo by April Walker

Several Chris Christensen Systems employees fell ill after coming in contact with a mysterious black powder last week and were taken to Freestone Medical Center where they were stripped and quarantined by haz-mat crews.
Haz-mat officials, who have not returned phone calls or emails left by The Fairfield Recorder, announced it was some form of a gas in the truck’s trailer making the individuals sick. Reports show there was a black powder on victims’ clothing when they were taken to the hospital. City Administrator Jeff Looney released the following Tuesday:
“Waco HAZMAT inspected the building and the freight truck, but was unable to determine any hazardous materials. However, the HAZMAT team did find traces of the fine black powder substance that came out of the freight truck.
“That material was tested and did not indicate that it was hazardous.”
Workers were reportedly unloading pallets of empty 30 gallon jugs from an 18-wheeler when the sickness began. According to former General Manager Christina McClellan – she has since quit her job with the company – while employees were unloading the pallets, a black dust was blowing off the truck and workers were ingesting it with each breath they took.

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