Chemical Incident At Westchester YMCA Sends 13 To Hospital

Photo: AFP

At least 13 people were taken to the hospital early Monday after a chemical incident at a Westchester County YMCA, officials said.

The victims reportedly suffered respiratory symptoms and "skin exposure injuries" after being exposed to a vapor cloud caused by a hazardous mixture of chemicals at the New Rochelle YMCA on Weyman Avenue at around 7:15 a.m.

Details on the severity of the injuries wasn't immediately clear, but officials indicated that no one was seriously hurt. The ages of the victims was not specified.

According to fire officials, hydrochloric acid and chlorine "inadvertently" got mixed in the same container, causing a chemical reaction that made several gym patrons and employees ill with fumes.

The incident was deemed "accidental and not criminal in nature." First responders in hazmat suit helped remove people from the building.

The scene was said to be contained within a few hours. An investigation is ongoing.

Chlorine is normally used to disinfect water in swimming pools. Hydrochloric acid is commonly used in de-icers, fertilizers and dyes.

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