Author Topic: Midwest FurFest Evacuated due to gas leak  (Read 3554 times)

Conan

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Midwest FurFest Evacuated due to gas leak
« on: December 07, 2014, 02:46:12 am »
What is being described as a "chemical leak" prompted the evacuation of the Rosemont, IL hotel hosting Midwest FurFest early Sunday morning. The hotel was evacuated shortly after 2:00AM.

The incident necessitated a three alarm response, prompting numerous emergency services agencies in the area to descend on the hotel, including the Chicago Fire Department. Multiple people were taken to the hospital. There is no word on their condition at this time.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the leak involved the 9th and 10th floors. Initially, the incident was rumored to be a Chlorine leak, however that would be unlikely given the hotel has not had a pool for several years.

Word of the emergency spread like wildfire on Twitter, prompting #MWFF to become the highest trending hashtag in the USA at the height of the event.

More: http://chicagosuntimes.com/news/chemical-leak-prompts-evacuation-during-midwest-furfest-at-rosemont-hyatt/

EDIT 6:00AM: WGN-TV is reporting that a "glass jar with a chlorine substance" was smashed in a staircase in the hotel.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 04:20:30 am by Conan »

JTfurry

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Re: Midwest FurFest Evacuated due to gas leak
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2014, 08:36:34 am »
Would not be a furry con without stuff like this..

Conan

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Re: Midwest FurFest Evacuated due to gas leak
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2014, 01:59:42 pm »
The Associated Press and other media outlets are now reporting that the substance was indeed Chlorine, and was released intentionally. It is being treated as a criminal matter.

bigstory.ap.org/article/192f1e8194bb4599840ac6ad67c85dc4/chlorine-gas-leak-sickens-19-furry-convention

rodox_video

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Re: Midwest FurFest Evacuated due to gas leak
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2014, 09:45:43 pm »
Before I heard that there wasn't a pool at the hotel I thought someone just got really fucked up and raided the janitor closet, but nope, this was (poorly) planned.

This is either going to wind up being some disgruntled furry with some sort of beef, or it's going to wind up being somehow related to the huge amount of drugs that go in/out of these and other conventions involving large numbers of young people. Plenty of dealers show up at cons just to move product.

There's a chance we might find out for sure either way because this is juuuuust enough of a brouhaha for the police to actually care and conduct an investigation.
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graeme

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Re: Midwest FurFest Evacuated due to gas leak
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2014, 07:51:32 am »
Well, no matter who was behind it, or how poorly it was planned, the result is still the same.  There were over 50 emergency vehicles, we got evac'd to four separate sites outside the hotel, 19 people were hospitalized and one of those was in a bad condition (but has since been released) due to previous exposure in Iraq/Afghanistan. 

Whoever did this is going to get a nice long trip to jail, and probably have to pay some massive restitution.    We had the DHS, FBI, Hazmat FBI, Hazmat DHS, O'Hare police, TSA (as there WERE pilots and operating crew in this hotel and it is close to ORD) and a wide variety of other people take an interest in this, within hours of it happening at 1AM on a sleepy sunday morning.   

I'd wager this story's not going away.

graeme

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Re: Midwest FurFest Evacuated due to gas leak
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2014, 07:28:00 pm »
A latex rubber chlorination?  Really? 

It wasn't the right substance for that, it wasn't the right container for it, it wasn't done in an aerated space, and instead in a relatively poorly lit top floor of a hotel near rooms that had no such "scene" going on.

That seems like reaching. 

EDIT:

Also, note, this was basically acid added to powder.  No bucket, no aqueous form.  a lot of powder.

unnamedpanda

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Re: Midwest FurFest Evacuated due to gas leak
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2014, 09:02:13 pm »
Technically, Sodium Hypochlorite is the active ingredient in bleach or chlorine for a pool. It is a base, not an acid.

While bleach can be dangerous at small concentrations in enclosed areas; it requires a small enclosed space and reaction to liberate the chlorine. Ammonia and bleach for instance form a nasty reaction with toxic fumes. Clorox bleach that a person might use in their bathroom can only become strong enough to cause trouble to those with breathing problems, such as asthma, bronchitis or emphysema. The "Institutional strength" brand of Clorox is at best 3 or 4% Sodium Hypochlorite, the balance being water.

For 19 people to have to seek medical attention this definitely seems as if it is industrial grade chemical, not just household bleach.  If it was household bleach a great quantity of it would have to be spilled, like a 55 gallon barrel or more.
This is suspicious because either a very large quantity of household bleach was spilled or a small quantity of industrial strength sodium hypochlorite was spilled for whatever reason. Either way it begs questions as to why.

Someone threw out a theory about chlorinating latex.
Latex or Isoprene is chlorinated and becomes chloroprene, or as it is better known by its trade name, Neoprene. This can enhance latex articles but care must be taken or the newly formed neoprene can be overexposed to chlorine and weaken. The process is not as simple as soaking the item in a pan of bleach. Fumes are a preferable way to chlorinate. Industrially this is done within a chamber and a distinct amount of exposure time is needed. The workers handling the materials usually work in glove boxes or fume cupboards to chlorinate it. Care must be taken with the process.

This is another furry convention where an evacuation has taken place. It stinks of prank at the very least or malevolence at the very worst.

winserv03fan

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Re: Midwest FurFest Evacuated due to gas leak
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2014, 01:18:16 am »
Quote from: mahadri
blah
Cool. Let's think about that thought process:
I want to make this latex smoother. Let me find some industrial strength chlorine, even though bleach works. (the source article you posted even shows bleach)
Oh look, a stairwell in the middle of this building, nothing could possibly go wrong having industrial strength chlorine in an enclosed space. Lets do it here!
Oh my god, wait, what is this gas and why does it burn?
Lets take the time to grab all the buckets and other materials we were using and drop the chlorine powder while were in extreme pain!

That doesn't make any sense.

Conan

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Re: Midwest FurFest Evacuated due to gas leak
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2014, 04:12:36 am »
On the lighter side, a couple of radio hosts in Detroit have fingered Kage as the culprit after some furry called in and explained who he is.

http://www.wrif.com/daveandchuckthefreak/2014/12/08/december-8th-2014-dave-chuck-the-freak-podcast (It's the second part of segment 2)