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Hazmat team responds to chlorine gas leak at Patro d’Ottawa pool

A member of the Ottawa Fire Services' hazmat team heads into Patro d'Ottawa to identify and isolate the source of a chlorine gas leak on Thursday, July 16, 2020.
A member of the Ottawa Fire Services' hazmat team heads into Patro d'Ottawa to identify and isolate the source of a chlorine gas leak on Thursday, July 16, 2020. Ottawa Fire Services

The Patro d’Ottawa recreational facility on Cobourg Street was evacuated Thursday morning amid concerns about a “strong chlorine odour,” according to Ottawa Fire Services (OFS).

OFS said it received a 911 call shortly after 11 a.m. on Thursday reporting a chlorine odour “irritating the eyes and throats” of multiple people at the recreational complex, which includes a swimming pool.

The building, located at 40 Cobourg St., was subsequently evacuated, and the OFS hazmat team was dispatched to the scene, where they confirmed the strong odour.

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Firefighters assisted with evacuating the remaining occupants, at which point they were assessed by Ottawa Paramedic Services.

The paramedics arriving on scene said there were between 20 and 30 people evacuated from the building, only one of whom required assessment. The individual ultimately declined transportation to the hospital, paramedics said.

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The OFS hazmat team confirmed the chlorine gas leak and isolated the source inside the building.

Crews said a chemical reaction occurred during work on the Patro d’Ottawa swimming pool’s water purification system, which produced the dangerous gas in the maintenance room.

Firefighters remained at the scene Thursday afternoon to remove the chemicals from the area and monitor the building’s ventilation before allowing occupants to re-enter the building.

OC Transpo also provided a bus to house evacuees in the meantime.

Ottawa police, meanwhile, reported that another gas leak had temporarily shut down traffic on Heatherington Road between Walkley and Albion roads in the city’s south end on Thursday afternoon.

A police spokesperson told Global News the gas line has been shut off while crews attend to the leak and that traffic has reopened on Heatherington Road.