York County Water Company CEO Jeff Hines says they were trying to make their wastewater treatment plant in the Asbury Pointe Development safer by removing a chlorine gas tank, unfortunately something went wrong.
“Three employees and a contractor were removing a 100 pound tank of chlorine gas, it almost looks like an oxygen tank, when the leaked happened,” said Jeff Hines, CEO/President York Water Company.
Chlorine was released into the air. More than 200 homes in the Asbury Pointe Development were evacuated as a precaution.
“It is a yellowish type cloud. It is heavier than air so it hangs to a lower portion of the ground,” said Ryan Brenneman, Fire Chief Eagle Fire Company, Mount Wolf. “It is extremely harmful if enough of it is ingested,”
Many neighbors could smell the gas in the air.
“When the fireman knocked on my door and told me we had to leave I could smell it. It was a very strong odor of bleach or chlorine ,” said Frank Hawkins.
Many residents went to a temporary shelter at the Eagle Fire Company in Mount Wolf. They were allowed to return to their homes about three hours after the leak was reported.
Hines told abc27 their company only acquired the small waste water treatment plant on River View Road, one month ago. The company no longer uses chlorine gas, and when they found out there was a tank on the premises they wanted to remove it, because of the potential for leaks.
Three York County Water employees were taken to the hospital and treated. No one in the surrounding area was hurt.