Walmart Evacuated, 15 Hospitalized

Lenoir City Wal-Mart reopens after evacuation

By: Bill Shory, News Director

Fumes from photography chemicals apparently made a dozen people sick this afternoon at the Wal-Mart in Lenoir City, forcing the store to evacuate.

Lenoir City Fire Chief Richard Martin says store employees were performing a routine change out of chemicals in the photo lab, when people in the area began complaining of breathing problems and eye irritation.

Emergency crews took nine employees and three customers to area hospitals.

An environmental crew cleared the building, and the store reopened just before 6pm.

Wal-Mart spokesman Dennis Alpert says that Wal-Mart Store 741 was evacuated after several people reported irritated eyes and throats.

Alpert originally said 10 people including five employees were sent to the hospital. But the hospital later reported that 15 had sought treatment.