April 11, 2013 5:26 pm
Updated: April 11, 2013 5:31 pm

YMCA shut down after hazardous waste team investigates suspicious chemical found in dumpster

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The Lethridge Fire Departments hazardous waste team evacuated everyone from the YMCA and the civic ice arena after a suspicious chemical was found in a nearby dumpster.”There was an unconfirmed leakage and the hazmat team had to respond. For safety sake they closed the YMCA and are not allowing anyone on the property,”says Tabitha Jensen an employee of the YMCA.

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The call was made by a city of Lethbridge employee after doing a routine garbage pick -up. The employee told 9-11 that he was experiencing symptoms of burning eyes and was dizzy.”It looks like there was something disposed off in the dumpster behind the YMCA and when the dump. when the solid waste guy came to unload dumpster there was some vapor that omitted that caused the driver to be dizzy,”says Jesse Kurtz the deputy fire chief.

Investigators suspect the chemical was chlorine and large doses could be deadly.The hazardous waste team who are specially trained were in full gear testing the substance . Anyone who was in direct contact with the chemical had to be sprayed off.

The city of lethbridge says this situation comes as a warning to not dispose any hazardous chemicals in waste bins as it could pose a public safety risk . At this point investigators do not know where the chemical found in the dumpster came from and so far no charges are being laid.

Sand was placed in the area of the truck to absorb the chemical. The truck is expected to eventually be placed on a flatbed, to be transported to the city landfill under police escort.

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