23 hospitalized after chemical leak at Kellogg headquarters

Emergency crews are responding to a suspected chemical leak at the Kellogg headquarters in Battle Creek Wednesday, March 29, 2017. (Courtesy Deb Hughes)

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Twenty-three people were taken to the hospital Wednesday following a refrigerant leak at the Kellogg Company headquarters in Battle Creek.

Calhoun County Dispatch told 24 Hour News 8 that crews were called around 10:40 a.m. to the company’s headquarters, located at 1 Kellogg Square, for a suspected Freon leak in the kitchen area.

Around 900 employees were evacuated from the North Tower. The Battle Creek Fire Department said shortly after 1 p.m. the building had safe Freon levels and was clear to reopen.The City of Battle Creek says 23 people were taken to area hospitals — 18 people to Bronson Battle Creek and five to Oaklawn Hospital in Marshall.

The Calhoun County Public Health Department will evaluate the building’s cooking facilities.

McCamly Street was closed between Jackson Street and Hamblin Avenue for a short period of time.

24 Hour News 8 has a crew heading to the scene. Check back with woodtv.com for updates.

Kellogg Company spokesperson Kris Charles released the following statement Wednesday:

“We had a refrigerant leak at our headquarters building this morning. Following protocol, and out of an abundance of caution, we immediately evacuated all employees from the North Tower and contacted the authorities. The leak has been stopped and we are cooperating with authorities to ensure it is safe to return to the building.

There are approximately 23 people who are being transported to local hospitals for evaluation as a precautionary measure. Our highest priority here is keeping a safe work environment for all of our employees, and we appreciate the cooperation and responsiveness of the Battle Creek Police and Fire Departments.”