Chemical accident causes PE quad evacuation for decontamination – 4/14/2010

A chemical accident last Wednesday morning caused chlorine gas to be released in the PE quad, resulting in an evacuation and clouser of the area for most of the day.

The incident began in PE 3, when a contractor from Tri-Con used the wrong chemical mix to treat the pool water supply. This caused a reaction that released hazardous fumes. The contractor notified law enforcement at 9:06 a.m.

The Foothill-De Anza Police Department was the first to respond one minute later with the Santa Clara Fire Department arriving at 9:10 a.m., followed by paramedics. Police units were present during the day to provide safety for the evacuation and the coordination with the fire department officials.

“Because of the quick actions of the first responders, the situation was contained and the danger was mitigated by removing people from the immediate area. The disruption to the normal academic environment was kept to an absolute minimum,” said Ron Levine, chief of the Foothill-De Anza Police.

Students and staff were safe following the incident with only the contractor hospitalized. He was transported to Kaiser in Santa Clara with non-life threatening injuries where he was treated and released.

The fire department requested a HazMat unit at 9:18 a.m., which arrived within a few minutes. HazMat units from the fire department decontaminated the area and the PE quad was reopened at 6:00 p.m.

Chlorine is a chemical that is used in bleaching and disinfectants. However, as a gas, it is a toxin that irritates the respiratory system. Chlorine is heavier than air and tends to accumulate in poorly ventilated areas.

Published for La Voz Weekly
4/14/2010
Original Link: Chemical accident causes PE quad evacuation for decontamination

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About Stan Rezaee
I'm a writer from San Jose who has contributed to several online and print publications.

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