According to police in the German state of Bavaria, anti-rust treatment for metal parts led to a dangerous chemical reaction causing employees to complain of nausea and difficulty breathing. Several people were taken to nearby clinics for treatment after rescue services arrived at the factory.
The first worker on the factory floor fell ill shortly after 2:00 am, Bamberg police said. More workers became sick until production was shut down and scores of firemen, Bavarian Red Cross and police headed to the scene.
Although the exact nature of chemical reaction remained unclear, police said metal parts are given an anti-corrosion coating before being wrapped in plastic at the plant. But for unexplained reasons the anti-rust protection had to be repeated last night, a police spokesman said.
The local authorities ruled out any danger for the environment due to the accident and production resumed at 6:15 am this morning.