UPDATE, 1:40 p.m.:
Battle Creek Fire Department officials have cleared the Freon gas leaking in the Kellogg Company headquarters downtown.
Fire personnel now believe the leak originated on the fifth floor of the north side of the building, from a pipe in or around a copier room. At least a "couple hundred" people were evacuated, according to Kellogg officials.
Fire fighters shut off the Freon, ventilated the building and have cleared it back to Kellogg officials. Fire Chief Dave Schmaltz said some employees were relocated to the south side of the building and that Kellogg would wait awhile longer before returning employees to the north side.
After the incident was called in around 10:40 a.m. today, 23 people who were exposed were taken by LifeCare Ambulance and Battle Creek Transit to local hospitals for medical checks -- 18 to Bronson Battle Creek and five to Oaklawn in Marshall. No fire personnel required medical attention.
Battle Creek Police assisted downtown with traffic control, and McCamly Street has reopened next to the building.
The Calhoun County Public Health Department was notified, and will evaluate the building's kitchen facilities; Freon is a refrigerant.
From earlier this afternoon:
After a Freon gas leak in the kitchen area of Kellogg Company headquarters in downtown, 23 people who were exposed were sent to local hospitals.
LifeCare Ambulance and Battle Creek Transit transported 18 people to Bronson Battle Creek and five people to Oaklawn Hospital in Marshall. Some experienced difficulty breathing and were to be checked out by medical staff.
The Battle Creek Fire Department responded at approximately 10:40 a.m. and evacuated the north side of the building. It was unknown how many people were evacuated.
Battle Creek Police are assisting downtown with traffic control and, at this time, McCamly Street is closed between Jackson Street and Hamblin Avenue.
The Calhoun County Public Health Department has been notified, and will evaluate the building's cooking facilities.
Fire officials believed the building would be safe again early this afternoon.