Six people were taken to area hospitals Tuesday morning after a chemical spill at Messiah Lifeways in Upper Allen Township.
Around 8:30 a.m. hazmat crews and fire departments were called to Messiah Lifeways after pool chemicals were spilled in the retirement community’s fitness area, according to spokeswoman Karin Bisbee.
Officials told ABC27 News the chemicals involved were chlorine and muriatic acid, which produces chlorine gas. The chemicals were accidentally mixed in a bucket on the swimming pool deck. Muriatic acid, used to lower the pH level of pool water, produces dangerous chlorine gas when mixed with chlorine.
“This happened in the existing pool,” Bisbee said. “The new pool, which was just built, is not open yet. ... This is not related to construction or anything like that.”
Four employees and two residents exercising in the fitness center were taken to a hospital as a precaution after the incident Monday morning, according to ABC27 News. As of 11:45 a.m. three of the people taken to area hospitals were released, Bisbee said.
Some residents in areas surrounding the fitness area and students from the nearby U-Gro Learning Centre were relocated as a result of the spill.
Crews were on scene for roughly two hours and the pool area was to remain closed for the remainder of the day, Bisbee said.
“It was a really big and thorough response for which we are extremely grateful,” she said.