A chemical explosion in Whitfield county Monday morning shook a manufacturing district and led to a trip to the emergency room for almost 50 people.
Just before 9 a.m. workers at nearby plants began hearing a loud whistle sound coming from the MFG Chemical Plant on Callahan Road.
Several of them, including Darrin Locke, production manager of a nearby plant, looked out the door.
DARRIN LOCKE, WORKS NEARBY "Everybody kind of headed this way about the time it exploded, we were gathered around the door here..just kind of checking things out...I guess it was a continuation of what had already started at that point."
The explosion blew off part of the roof at MFG where investigators were told that employees were making something called Coagulant 129 which is used in water treatment.
When emergency crews arrived they checked for injuries there first.
BRUCE FRAZIER, SPOKESMAN, DALTON POLICE DEPARTMENT "There were 6 people inside the MFG plant, and its my understanding that there were no injuries in there...and also no contamination.
The contamination issues happened to some people in the neighboring buildings."
But, from the noise and the strong, pungent odor in the air, everybody expected the worst.
BLAKE SMITH, WORKS NEARBY "Walked outside and seen the second explosion..the roof is..you know pieces of the roof everywhere."
MIKE ELLIS, OWNS NEARBY BUSINESS "Either the rupture disc or the man-way blew away ..Which I think has landed on the other property of Beaulieu of American."
Dalton police report a total of 47 people were taken to Hamilton Medical Center with skin irritations and respiratory problems.
BRUCE FRAZIER, DALTON POLICE DEPARTMENT "As far as the people taken for decontamination, my understanding is they are all going to be fine."
In April of 2004, a chemical reactor overheated at the MFG plant, releasing toxic allyl alcohol vapor.
The resulting cloud sent 154 people to a local hospital and forced the evacuation of nearby residents.
A report from the National Chemical Safety Board indicates vegetation and aquatic life near the plant were killed