More than 60 people were treated for pesticide exposure at a rural orchard more than five miles south of Reedley during a late-morning incident on June 18.
The Tulare County Hazmat team was called to the pesticide spill at about 11:30 a.m. at Avenue 408 and Road 56 (Frankwood Avenue), west of Dinuba. According to the Visalia Times Delta, the spill affected dozens of fieldworkers who were pruning and tying grape vines when they noticed a “terrible smell,” according to a field manager.
Crew supervisors called 911 when some of the workers began vomiting. Tulare County Fire Chief Charlie Norman said the south side of a nearby orchard was being sprayed with Hexythiazox when winds pushed the chemical north toward dozens of field workers.
Workers were being treated for the chemical exposure by taking showers and being given decontaminated clothes. Hazmat officials said 63 people had been sprayed with chemicals, with two complaining of “moderate” to “severe” injuries, the Times Delta reported.
Paramedics from Tulare County, Dinuba, Kingsburg, Exeter and Visalia responded to the scene.