Two maintenance employees at a Minneapolis-area L.A. Fitness were hospitalized Monday after inhaling a toxic mixture of chemicals used to clean the club’s pool. Fox 9 News reports that one of the exposed was released from Hennepin County Medical Center Monday afternoon and the other’s condition had been upgraded from critical to satisfactory as of Monday evening.
According to Hopkins Police Sgt. Michael Glassberg, chlorine and hydrochloric acid were improperly mixed together and released a flume of vapor inside the pool area of fitness club. The two exposed workers, both employees of a private contractor hired out by L.A. Fitness, experienced breathing problems and were taken to HCMC for closer examination. The pool area and locker rooms were evacuated while emergency personnel disposed of the chemicals, but reopened later in the afternoon.
Jim Koschman, manager of an area pool and spa store, told Fox that both chemicals are commmonly used for pool maintenance but can be extremely hazardous if mixed erroneously.
“We handle them all the time,” Koschman said. “But you should never mix the chemicals prior to putting them in the pool. Add chemicals one at a time. Dispense throughout the pool before adding the next one.”
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