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Winnipeg apartment building evacuated after pool chemical mishap

A hazmat team responded to a pool maintenance accident at a Winnipeg apartment complex last month after chemicals were improperly mixed by a summer student working for the service company.

Residents at an apartment building in Winnipeg’s Osborne Village were evacuated last month after a chemical accident occurred during routine maintenance at the outdoor pool.

According to a CBC News report, the River Crescent Gardens building had to be sealed off and hazmat crews were called in to deal with the potentially dangerous chemical fumes that had escaped into the air.

The incident happened after a summer student, working for a local pool maintenance company, misidentified hydrochloric acid (HCl) as chlorine (Cl). As a result, a hazmat team was called in to remove the chemicals from the building. In doing so, they poured them into the pool, which then had to be drained. Emergency crews assessed one person on-site, but no one was injured. Workplace health and safety officials are also investigating the incident.

“We take precautions for everything,” district fire chief Chris Carey told CBC News. “As soon as we have any indication that there’s any parts per million (ppm) above normal, we take the precautions.”

According to the report, the pool maintenance company did not comment on what training the employee had, but said it has launched an internal investigation.

For expert advice on legal issues and concerns involving chemical-related accidents at public/private pool facilities, watch for Pool & Spa Marketing’s September issue.

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One comment on “Winnipeg apartment building evacuated after pool chemical mishap”

  1. We must only be getting part of the story. If I add a jug of muriatic acid to a pool instead of bleach…so what??

    My guess is they must have had an auto feed system with bleach and acid reservoirs and the student accidentally topped up a reservoir with the wrong jug – instant chlorine gas!

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