Update: Chemical leak evacuates Southwest Pool/Teen Life Center; no one hurt; will reopen tomorrow

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.

17 Replies to "Update: Chemical leak evacuates Southwest Pool/Teen Life Center; no one hurt; will reopen tomorrow"

  • Tanej May 7, 2013 (5:05 pm)

    Please let us know. TONS of emergency equipment headed that way!

  • nadj May 7, 2013 (5:11 pm)

    gotta love WSB. hear the trucks screaming down delridge, and immediately the blog already has info!

  • Rudy May 7, 2013 (5:13 pm)

    News chopper hovering too.

  • A. May 7, 2013 (5:15 pm)

    Thanks for the update. After hearing the sirens and THEN the helicopter, I figured I should log on and see what was happening.

  • Chaser May 7, 2013 (5:17 pm)

    Is this why the helo was up?

    • WSB May 7, 2013 (5:19 pm)

      Yes, it’s TV newscast time so TV came roaring over.

  • 29th ave LIVE May 7, 2013 (5:21 pm)

    It’s just down the block from my place and we’ve been hearing sirens and smelling weird vapors. city electric, paramedics, cops, fire department and a coast guard detatchment are all there.

  • Amy B May 7, 2013 (5:21 pm)

    Thanks for the fast report; I heard the sirens and can still hear a helicopter circling.

  • furiouskitty May 7, 2013 (5:27 pm)

    Yikes. I guess no swimming lessons tonight!

  • Dustin May 7, 2013 (5:37 pm)

    these helicopters seem really pointless. why are they there? to make a ton of noise and make me mad? trying to study and they are totally disrupting me -_-

    • WSB May 7, 2013 (6:01 pm)

      Dustin – since TV stations are all based downtown and north of downtown, the helicopter gets them photos sooner. That’s about the only purpose. My co-publisher says at least a couple stations have ground crews on the scene now, so I don’t know if the choppers will stay – they’re very expensive to operate, and the view from the air might not be that dramatic right now since nobody (thankfully!) has been hurt. – TR

  • benjamin May 7, 2013 (6:02 pm)

    Thanks WSB! My daughter and I were headed to her swim lesson when we were turned away. So nice to be able to quickly check the situation and return home.

  • WSB May 7, 2013 (6:15 pm)

    Road’s reopening; pool/center expected to reopen around 7 but lessons still canceled for tonight, Parks says.

  • timh2o May 7, 2013 (6:31 pm)

    I was headed to the pool with the little one for her swimm lesson and saw the news chopper and while I was sitting at the light looked and of course the WSB clued me in and I was able to avoid the carnage. Thanks again for great updates on our community!

  • Emma May 7, 2013 (9:26 pm)

    I was there in the SWCC! I was nervous because all they said was evacuate then I learned why we had to. Me and my friends(Afterschool Programs)went up to the park and played there watching from a distance

  • Emma May 7, 2013 (9:29 pm)

    Everyone was saying it was a tiny leak but I wasn’t convinced with the choppers, the firefighters, the police, Etc.

  • Kimi May 8, 2013 (3:29 pm)

    Saw the fire trucks and police car wiz by on my way home last night, wondered what had happened

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