FurFest Evacuated: Chlorine Gas Incident Sends 19 to Hospital (Video)
Thousands of people were evacuated from FurFest Convention at the Hyatt hotel in suburban Rosemont after an “intentional” chlorine gas incident.
FurFest is is an annual convention that takes place in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. Supporters come together to celebrate furry fandom, that is, art, literature, and performance based around anthropomorphic animals.
Nineteen people were sent to hospitals after the chlorine incident.
The Chicago Tribune reported:
Several thousand people, some dressed as animal characters, were evacuated from a Hyatt hotel in suburban Rosemont when an “intentional” chlorine gas incident at the hotel, which was hosting the Midwest FurFest convention, sent 19 people to hospitals early Sunday.
The incident happened around 12:40 a.m. at the Hyatt, at 9300 West Bryn Mawr Avenue in Rosemont, according to a statement from the Rosemont Public Safety Department. First responders were called to investigate a noxious odor that was spreading across the ninth floor of the hotel, where a high level of chlorine gas was discovered in the air, the statement said.
Nineteen people were transported to nearby hospitals after complaining of nausea, dizziness and other medical problems, according to the statement. All people inside the building were temporarily evacuated and sheltered at nearby facilities, including the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.
Disrupted was an annual weekendlong convention called Midwest FurFest, which celebrates art, literature and performance based around anthropomorphic animals, draws thousands of people every year, according to the Midwest FurFest website.
Hazardous materials technicians found the source of the chlorine gas, what appeared to be powdered chlorine, in a stairwell at the ninth floor, according to a statement from police.
Technicians decontaminated the area and after conducting several tests deemed the area safe within about two hours.
— Midwest FurFest (@midwestfurfest) December 1, 2014
— Midwest FurFest (@midwestfurfest) December 6, 2014