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Factory is emptied over sudden illness

Some 500 employees of Beehive Clothing Manufacturing were evacuated after nearly 2 dozen people were overcome with flu-like symptoms Friday.

Salt Lake firefighters and state health department tested the business, 1820 S. 3880 West, for hazardous materials or chemicals but found nothing, city fire department spokesman Scott Freitag said.

Still more than 20 employees said that about 1 p.m., they began experiencing nausea, dizziness, throat irritations and some difficulty breathing, Freitag said. Several people vomited and 10 people were transported to various valley hospitals, he said.

All of those affected were working in a sewing room at the business, which manufactures LDS church-related clothing. One of the possible sources of the problem may have been a shipment of new fabric that arrived at the company on Friday, Freitag said. Investigators were looking at that possibility and planned to remove the fabric from the building and conduct a second round of tests, he added.