Gas leak in Marengo sends 7 to hospitals

MARENGO — Seven people were transported to area hospitals Friday after a gas leak at Arnold Magnetic Technologies Corp., 300 N. West St.

None of the injuries was life-threatening, Marengo Fire Chief Robert Bradbury said.

"The leak was shut off right away," Bradbury said.

Four people were treated at Centegra Hospital-Woodstock. Three were taken to Sherman Hospital in Elgin.

Two hours after the leak was reported at 9:09 a.m., about 30 Arnold employees still were huddled the vending area of a building about a half-mile away from where the leak occurred.

A company representative said he had no comment.

Marengo Fire Capt. John Kimmel said the gas, dimethylethylamine, is toxic if inhaled and can cause eye irritation. He said the ambulance transports were "more precautionary than anything."

The last ambulance left the scene at 10:45 a.m.

Kimmel said there are much more dangerous gases, but the leaking gas "was dangerous enough."

In addition to Marengo, sending ambulances to the scene were Union, Harvard, Huntley, Woodstock and Genoa-Kingston fire departments.

According to its website, Arnold Magnetic Technologies Corp. manufactures a wide range of permanent magnets and precision magnetic assemblies with facilities in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Switzerland and China.