Ambulances and Hazmat crews arrived at the Tesla Gigafactory outside of Reno shortly after 12:45 pm on Monday, after the company voluntarily reported, per safety protocols, that a chemical spill had taken place at the battery plant. Local news arriving at the scene reported that a drum of construction-grade chemical, which turned out to be cleaning solvent, spilled onto a loading dock at the Gigafactory.
Joe Curtis, Storey County’s Emergency Operations Director for the Fire Department’s hazardous materials team, responded to the call for a chemical clean up. According to Curtis via the RGJ, “There’s no threat to the public, there’s no plume, it’s in an isolated area near a vehicle”. Curtis noted that approximately nine factory workers reported symptoms of upset stomachs after being exposed to the chemical. No major injuries were reported. Production at the Gigafactory is expected to be unaffected.
A Tesla spokesperson issued the following statement in regards to today’s incident:
“A drum of standard construction cleaning solvent was spilled at one of the Gigafactory loading docks this afternoon. Although this minor spill poses no threat to the public, per our safety protocols, we evacuated a small portion of the building and alerted the authorities. A cleanup crew is onsite and out of an abundance of caution, a couple of employees who may have been exposed are being transferred to the local hospital. There are no reports of serious injuries. We don’t expect any impact to production.”