Five workers suffer chemical burns at Wacker plant in Bradley County

Wacker's new $2.5 billion polysilicon plant in Bradley County.

Five workers suffered chemical burns Wednesday from a release at the Wacker Polysilicon plant in northern Bradley County.

One worker was flown to Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga via Life Force, and four others were taken by ambulance to a hospital, Bradley County authorities said.

The Bradley County Sheriff's Office dispelled rumors of an explosion and said there was no danger to the community. An employee at nearby Walker Valley High School said school officials had not been warned of any danger or instructed to take protective measures.

The $2.5 billion plant manufactures hyperpure polysilicon in the manufacturing of solar panels. Work is underway now on a $150 million expansion.

William J. Toth, director of corporate communications and compliance for Wacker Chemical, said via email the accident happened around 11:45 a.m. Wednesday when "a small chemical release of silane was detected while performing routine maintenance."