5:03 PM: Seattle Fire crews have evacuated Southwest Pool and Teen Life Center because of what was dispatched as a hazardous-materials situation.
5:08 PM UPDATE: It’s described on the scanner as a suspected chlorine leak. Traffic is also blocked off in the area to keep people away until crews have it under control, so avoid SW Thistle.
No word of any injuries at this point – medic crews are there but we’re not seeing any patients.
5:19 PM UPDATE: Co-publisher Patrick Sand confirms at the scene that it was a spill/leak of pool chlorine. Hazmat crews
are in the building plan to test the air quality. And yes, this is why there’s at least two TV choppers overhead.
5:34 PM UPDATE: Fire crews report via radio communications that so far, they indeed do NOT have anyone with symptoms/injuries. The tank that had a leak/spill problem is described as at least 150 gallons. They’re still working to stabilize the situation.
5:48 PM UPDATE: Southwest Pool and Teen Life Center tells us all lessons and other activities for the rest of tonight are canceled. Too soon to tell about tomorrow. Meantime, Seattle Fire tells us that the chemical is not chlorine itself but is used to treat the pool water. Staffers smelled the leak, which apparently had been going on for a few hours before noticed, then called 911 and got out of the building. Again, SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore confirms, no injuries, no one requesting treatment. (added, here’s our video of his briefing)
SFD is likely to be on site at least a few hours because this kind of situation requires careful processing in the “better safe than sorry” mode. Thistle is still blocked off and buses are affected by this; Metro is trying to get them through the SWAC parking lot to reroute.
6:12 PM UPDATE: Seattle Fire now says the building tests “clean.” Seattle Parks says it could reopen as soon as 7 pm but lessons are still canceled for the rest of tonight. Seattle Police have just announced (via scanner) that SW Thistle is reopening.
6:46 PM UPDATE: Matt Richardson from SW Pool sends word the pool will remain CLOSED TONIGHT, then will reopen tomorrow for normal operations. People whose lessons were canceled tonight will get credits on their accounts.
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