Several sickened at Bucks Co. pool

QUAKERTOWN, Pa. - August 23, 2010

As soon as local authorities realized what happened hazmat crews quickly descended upon the Quakertown Municipal Pool.

"Some of our employees were performing daily maintenance on the pool. Two regular chemicals that we use on a daily basis came together and had a reaction which turned into chlorine gas," said Quakertown Managing Director Scott McElree.

As a result, early responders immediately evacuated the pool area, Quakertown Memorial Park, several nearby homes, and a few buildings including the local public library.

Two pool employees and a pool supply delivery person, all of whom were exposed to the gas, were taken to St. Luke's Hospital to be evaluated.

Chlorine gas is extremely toxic and can cause severe damage to the wind pipe and lungs when inhaled. And once it's released, chlorine gas is difficult to remediate because it's denser than air causing it to linger near ground level.

Fortunately, the gas was released inside the pool's pump station edifice and the exposed employees followed proper protocol before evacuating the scene.

"They closed doors and contained it and that allowed us to keep the area safe."

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