• Hotel reopens after chlorine-like gas leak

    The Portola Hotel and Spa has re-opened following the clean-up of a hazardous material spill that forced the evacuation of hotel guests and employees early this morning. A gas similar to chlorine gas was released when an employee accidentally mixed bleach and acid in the laundry room of the hotel.

    30 people were transported to area hospitals for treatment of respiratory symptoms: 11 to Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, 14 to Salinas Valley Memorial and 5 to Natividad Hospital. All of the injured were employees of the hotel. One guest did ask to be checked because of concerns about his health prior to traveling but was not hospitalized.

    Monterey Fire responded to the scene at 9:15 this morning and ordered an evacuation of the guests and employees of the hotel, and employees at the adjacent Monterey Conference Center. No conferences were taking place at the time of the incident. 210 guests were evacuated.

    “A team effort by the Monterey Fire department, the Portola Hotel, Community Hospital and several other agencies led to the successful conclusion of this incident,” said Monterey Fire Chief Andrew Miller.

    Nearly 50 first responders were at the scene. Responding to the incident were Monterey Fire, Monterey Police, Salinas & Seaside Hazmat Teams, Monterey County Health, American Medical Response, and the Monterey Airport District.

    Monterey County Health hazmat specialists determined the potentially dangerous gas was confined to a barrel in the laundry room. They checked the hotel – floor by floor – and found no evidence of chlorine anywhere else.

    Hazardous material clean-up specialists were called to the scene to remove the barrel where the chemicals were mixed. Once that was completed, the hotel was cleared for re-opening.

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    posted to Cedar Street Times on February 13, 2012

    Topics: Front PG News, Breaking News


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