A swimming pool maintenance man working at the Residence Inn in Lexington, Kentucky, put himself in the hospital this March after mixing incompatible chemicals.
According to Lexington Fire Department Major Brian Dawson, it is believed that the man mixed bleach with muriatic acid, thinking it would double the cleaning power. Instead, the combination produced potentially lethal chlorine gas.
Upon arrival at the scene at 8:48 a.m. March 2, Lexington fire officials found that the worker had had a reaction to the pool chemicals, complaining of having trouble breathing.
He was taken to the hospital and is currently doing better.
Initially, fire officials were not immediately aware of the nature of the chemicals involved. A short time later, their assignment was upgraded to a HAZMAT incident and thirdparty HAZMAT specialist companies arrived at the building to investigate.
Guests at the hotel were evacuated from the building as firefighters monitored the condition of the air and ventilated the pool area.
Some waited in their cars for approximately two hours until the building was declared to be clear. They were allowed to return to the hotel when chemical readings showed that it was safe for everyone.
The leftover chemicals were placed into containers and shipped off to a chemical waste facility.