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Man hurt in Pa. chemical spill

June 26, 1999|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

FAYETTEVILLE, Pa. - A truck driver sustained chemical burns Friday when a hose ruptured, spilling liquid chlorine being pumped into a tank at the swimming pool in Caledonia State Park, officials said.

Steve Michael, no age available, of Perkiomenville, Pa., was treated for burns to his face and hands at Chambersburg Hospital and later released, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Michael was the only person injured in the incident, said park Superintendent Bruce McFate. About 300 people in and around the pool were moved from the area.

The pool will be closed for the weekend while the area is cleaned up, McFate said.

He estimated that 150 to 300 gallons of liquid chlorine spilled on Michael and into a service building where a 1,000-gallon tank stores chlorine used to purify the water in the pool.

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Robert Albrecht, deputy chief of the Fayetteville Volunteer Fire Department, said Michael was refilling the tank when the hose attached to the tank truck developed a five-inch split.

McFate said firefighters hosed down Michael with water before putting him into the ambulance for the trip to the hospital.

Liquid chlorine can cause severe chemical burns on exposed skin. Its fumes can be fatal if inhaled, Albrecht said.

The chlorine that escaped into the building ran into the drain leading to the park's sewage treatment plant, Albrecht said. Firefighters flushed the building with water to dilute the chemical before it reached the treatment plant.

Albrecht said firefighters who entered the building wore special protective clothing.

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