Caulk used to repair shower triggers medical alert at Berkeley County jail
MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCIV) - Inmates are being removed and relocated to another part of Berkeley County's jail after officials say there was a "chemical release."
According to Berkeley County Sheriff's Office spokesman Dan Moon, the inmates had a reaction to a caulking product being used by county maintenance workers.
Officials say there was not a riot at the jail as had been rumored on some websites and social media, however.
Berkeley County's supervisor, Dan Davis, said by phone that the issue started with a leak in the shower of Pod B. Maintenance workers were sent in to seal the shower floors and fix the leak, he said.
The product they use requires proper ventilation with a large fan, which was used, Davis said. However, it led to several inmates complaining of fumes and issues breathing.
A second round of complaints came when the maintenance crew used mineral spirits to clean the caulk, Davis said.
According to Davis, this is not the first time the caulk has been used in the jail. During the previous times the caulk was used, there were no complaints, Davis said.
Out of precaution, county maintenance officials contact the manufacturer of the product, Davis said.
According to news partner SConFire, about a dozen people were being treated as a result of the chemical release. A mass casualty bus has been called to the scene.
Officials at Trident Medical Center say 11 inmates were being treated at the Moncks Corner Medical Center; two of whom were quickly treated and released. The rest went going through triage to see which inmates, if any, need to stay at the medical center for treatment. All were treated and released back into the custody of the detention center, medical officials said.
At the jail, two other inmates who were not transported to the medical center were also treated for a reaction to the fumes. One could be seen screaming out for water as medical personnel washed out the inmate's eyes.
There were 20 officers guarding the unit where the inmates were being treated, officials said.