Author Topic: Midwest FurFest Evacuated due to gas leak  (Read 1437 times)

Conan

  • Postcount ate Whippany, NJ
  • ****
  • Posts: 705
  • E-points: +38/-9
  • \(_o)/
    • View Profile
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

  • *
  • Posts: 33
  • E-points: +1/-0
  • Uninitiated Rube
    • View Profile
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

  • Postcount ate Whippany, NJ
  • ****
  • Posts: 705
  • E-points: +38/-9
  • \(_o)/
    • View Profile
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

  • Postcount ate Whippany, NJ
  • ****
  • Posts: 505
  • E-points: +34/-8
  • HURF DURF DUH BLUH
    • View Profile
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.
Zeriara is part of a series on Whores.

graeme

  • *
  • Posts: 54
  • E-points: +10/-1
  • Uninitiated Rube
    • View Profile
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.

mahadri

  • Posts: 10
  • E-points: +2/-0
  • Uninitiated Rube
    • View Profile
Re: Midwest FurFest Evacuated due to gas leak
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2014, 01:31:17 pm »
The most plausible explanation I've considered is this was a latex rubber chlorination gone wrong. Ground zero was near the top of a stairwell, arguably the least trafficked indoor public area. There were much better areas to attack if this was intentional.

"Exposing latex rubber to chlorine gas in aqueous causes the chlorine to attach to sites on the rubber molecules, which has the effect of reducing the friction at the surface of the rubber. In practical terms, rubber garments which have been properly chlorinated are much smoother and can usually be worn without the need for talc or other lubricants." http://www.catalystlatex.com/diy-chlorination

MSNBC's coverage is funny. The anchors learned about furries live, likely with the producers whispering overwhelming information into their ears. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llmgFZz3Iio

graeme

  • *
  • Posts: 54
  • E-points: +10/-1
  • Uninitiated Rube
    • View Profile
Re: Midwest FurFest Evacuated due to gas leak
« Reply #6 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

  • Posts: 2
  • E-points: +0/-0
  • Another of Dr. Moreau's "Patients"
    • View Profile
Re: Midwest FurFest Evacuated due to gas leak
« Reply #7 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.
Unnamed Panda

mahadri

  • Posts: 10
  • E-points: +2/-0
  • Uninitiated Rube
    • View Profile
Re: Midwest FurFest Evacuated due to gas leak
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2014, 09:21:32 pm »
Quote
it wasn't the right container for it

If it was an intermediate mixing container, and the powder was added first, and acid started being poured into the powder, and the container was dropped once it started immediately gassing, then grabbing the buckets and running leaves no bucket, no aqueous form, and a broken glass jar with a lot of powder and not much acid.

Quote
it wasn't done in an aerated space

It was cold outside. Do all rooms have opening windows or unlocked balconies?

Quote
That seems like reaching.

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity, but don't rule out malice.

Quote
It wasn't the right substance for that

What is the "right" substance, and why wouldn't a chlorine powder work? "Calcium hypochlorite also known as chlorine powder ... has greater available chlorine than sodium hypochlorite (liquid bleach)."

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

Source for acid? I've only seen powder, while you'd want the chlorine dissolved in solution for optimal gas release. "Firefighters at about 1:00 a.m. reported finding a broken glass bottle on the ninth floor in the stairwell. At 1:04 a.m. firefighters reported that the source is a plain glass jar with a white powdered substance as contents." source

For optimal gas release from the reactants, I'd think an unsealed, unbroken reaction chamber would allow the most acid to react with the most powder?

winserv03fan

  • Dumbest Username Award - May 2012
  • *
  • Posts: 77
  • E-points: +4/-4
  • A Duck!
    • View Profile
Re: Midwest FurFest Evacuated due to gas leak
« Reply #9 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

  • Postcount ate Whippany, NJ
  • ****
  • Posts: 705
  • E-points: +38/-9
  • \(_o)/
    • View Profile
Re: Midwest FurFest Evacuated due to gas leak
« Reply #10 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)