Chlorine Gas Forces MAC Evacuation

By: Beth Shayne
By: Beth Shayne

"We played doubles, and then they said you gotta leave," explains Bruce Mitchell.

Employees mixing gas in the pool area accidentally mixed a compoud that emitted chlorine gas. Though the scare began in the pool area, it forced a couple hundred people from the entire complex, owned and managed by Sparrow hospital.

Chlorine gas can be deadly in large quanitites, but any intake is dangerous.

"What you'll see is some respiratory irritation, trouble breathing," says Dave Harper, Chief of Training for Meridian Fire Department, ",burning of the eyes, nose, and skin."

That's what sent three M.A.C. employees and one non-employee to the hospital as Hazmat teams came in to identify and clean up the mess that sent them there.

The primary concern was spread of gas through vents in the building. Doctors offices adjacent to the atheltic club were closed as a result.

The Hazmat team used chlorine detectors inside to be certain they'd found and cleared areas of concern. The rest of the night was spent airing out the building with the help of fans and the complex ventilation system.

The M.A.C. will be open at 7 am Saturday.


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