RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A chlorine leak at an auto shop on East Whitaker Mill Road forced several businesses in Raleigh to evacuate on Friday afternoon.
“The chlorine cylinder had been in the back of the place for a long time,” said Raleigh Fire Division Chief Kevin Coppage.
Coppage said the leak came from an old, 100-pound cylinder of chlorine gas. The foggy white gas could be seen hovering in the thick humid air on Friday.
“Chlorine is an asphyxiant, it will actually suffocate you,” Coppage explained. “Also, getting chlorine inside your body and lungs, once it mixed with moisture, it can create an adema in the lungs.”
Several nearby businesses to forced to evacuate.
Residents at The Oaks at Whitaker Glen and Mayview assisted living facilities were told to shelter in place. Neither facility has had what the State Department of Health and Human Services considers a COVID-19 outbreak.
“A plume of the chlorine was going over there, so we had that to be concerned with, so we decided to do some sheltering in place,” said Coppage. “We put some forced ventilation over there while the hazmat team mitigated the emergency.”
No residents were injured, but Coppage says a firefighter was treated at the scene and two assisted living employees were taken to the hospital.
“We had one firefighter that had irritants in his throat and then we had two of the administrative staff at Mayview that did get transported by Wake EMS,” Coppage said.
Coppage tells CBS17 the cylinder of chlorine is contained and will be picked up and disposed of by a cleaning company.
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