Highland Park Pool evacuated after chlorine leak

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The Highland Park Pool was evacuated early this afternoon amid concern over a chlorine leak.

A call for service reached Allegheny County at 12:16 p.m., an emergency dispatch supervisor confirmed. He said a valve of the chlorine tank was dislodged, causing the leak.

Pittsburgh Fire Chief Darryl Jones said the city's hazardous materials team -- including representatives from the police department, the fire department and EMS crews -- were called to the scene. He said it turned out to be a minor leak, and that, as far as he knew, no one was hurt.

Crews tightened the valve with hand tools, Chief Jones said; the pool has a company coming to remove the tank, he added.

Tony Pizon, chief of medical toxicology at UPMC, said chlorine can be lethal in cases of severe exposure, which is why it has been used as a chemical warfare agent. But for severe irritation to occur, typically a bigger leak is necessary, combined with a longer exposure.

"If it's a small leak, I wouldn't expect anything severe," he said.

Parks officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

First Published June 19, 2014 12:00 AM

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