PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A Hazmat team was called when police reported a “small” leak in a chlorine tank at the Highland Park Pool Thursday afternoon.
The incident occurred around noon, an hour before the pool was scheduled to open. Four employees were at the pool at the time.
“It’s deadly; it’s very deadly,” said Pittsburgh Operations Chief Guy Costa, describing the situation.
Around noon, workers were moving canisters of chlorine, and then something went wrong.
“As they were moving them, one of the tops snapped off, so we could have a major leak,” Costa said.
Thankfully, no one was in the pool. The canister, about five-feet tall, was filled with liquid chlorine, about 100 pounds. Once the chlorine hits the air, it becomes a gas.
“It was leaking as a gas, and the whole area in Highland Park, as you can see, will smell like gas. Hopefully, in a couple of hours, it will go away,” said Costa. “The zoo has been notified because a lot of the gas was going over to the zoo.”
Hazmat was called in, and the canister was turned off.
The question now is, why did it malfunction?
“We had four employees on the scene at the time when one employee had a minor injury to the hand; she was moving the canister,” Costa said. “The good thing is, we had no serious injuries here.”
There was no damage to the pool, which will reopen tomorrow, Friday, June 20, at 1 p.m.
Meanwhile, the manufacturer of the canister will also be on scene Friday to explain why the top of the cylinder snapped off.