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12 Hospitalized After Chemical Spill at Willy Wonka Candy Factory

Workers were making Nerds when a 5-gallon container of lithium chloride spilled

NBC 5's Lauren Petty is on the scene of a hazmat incident that sent a dozen Willy Wonka Candy Factory workers to the hospital in northwest suburban Itasca. (Published Friday, June 17, 2016)

A chemical spill at the Illinois Willy Wonka Candy Factory in DuPage County sent a dozen employees to the hospital Friday morning. 

Officials say the workers were making Nerds and other popular sweet treats just before 1:30 a.m. in northwest suburban Itasca when a 5-gallon container of lithium chloride spilled. 

At least 18 employees complained of having problems breathing and 12 were taken to area hospitals. 

“It’s a product used in, I believe, the humidifying system here,” Itasca deputy fire chief John Radzinski said. 

Sean Rayford/Getty Images

By 6 a.m., several of the employees had been treated and released at area hospitals. All are expected to be okay, officials said.

Information on how the spill happened has not been released. Radzinski said the hazmat response was “in an abundance of caution.”

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