Your Local News | Allentown, Bethlehem & Easton
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Lehigh County News

Dozens at Upper Macungie plant taken to hospitals after being sickened

Sharp Packaging Solutions bldg.jpg
Jay Bradley
Emergency crews were called to Sharp Packaging Solutions in Upper Macungie Township on Friday afternoon.

UPPER MACUNGIE TWP., Pa. — Dozens of people were taken to the hospital after emergency crews were called to Sharp Packaging Solutions on Friday afternoon for an odor that sickened workers.

Thirty people were taken to Lehigh Valley Health Network facilities, said spokesman Brian Downs. Another 22 were treated at St. Luke's Allentown, said St. Luke's spokesman Sam Kennedy.

Downs said at least 20 employees were taken to the LVHN Cedar Crest facility and 10 others to LVHN-Muhlenberg.

"Some of them complained of a headache and having a hoarse voice, but none were considered serious of any kind," he said.

"In general, none of the employees brought to us showed significant symptoms. They were brought mainly as a precaution to ensure they were OK."

St. Luke's Kennedy said all of the 22 treated there were expected to be discharged.

The source of the problem at the pharmaceutical packing company at 7451 Keebler Way wasn't immediately known.

A statement issued by Sharp said the Lehigh County Emergency Management Agency conducted an extensive hazardous materials evaluation and found no evidence of any hazardous chemicals or odors.

"We are currently working closely with local officials to investigate the source of the odor," the statement said.

"The building’s production floor was shut down and evacuated, and we understand those staff who experienced symptoms are recovering at area hospitals or at home."

Sharp said it is working with officials to investigate and address the source of the odor.

The first call came in at 12:02 p.m., according to a Lehigh County 911 supervisor.

"We will remain in contact with local officials and keep our employees informed when we have more to share," the company said.