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Emergency Response At Health Department Confirms Air Conditioning Refrigerant Leak; 5 Taken To Hospital

Emergency Response Team Arriving

Emergency Response At Health Department Confirms Air Conditioning Refrigerant Leak; 5 Taken To Hospital

CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE – An unexpected emergency response was activated at the Health Department building on E. 3rd Street on Thursday morning following reports of a suspicious odor and multiple people feeling ill. Five individuals have been transported to the hospital for further medical attention.

Air Conditioning Refrigerant Leak Confirmed

Following emergency response procedures, officials have confirmed the cause of the alarm as a leak involving the building’s air conditioning refrigerant. “The entire building has been checked and it is safe,” officials stated, further declaring the area no longer a danger zone. The building has since been reopened to employees and patients.

Rapid Response and Evacuation

The incident garnered immediate attention as a rapid response was triggered to ensure the safety of both employees and patients at 9:41 am. Reports indicated that several individuals were experiencing symptoms of dizziness, lightheadedness, and general ill-health along with the presence of an unknown odor. In response, the building was promptly evacuated as emergency services, including the Chattanooga Fire Department (CFD), Chattanooga Police Department (CPD), and Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services (HCEMS) converged on the scene.

The Investigation

Hazmat teams from the city’s Special Operations responded with multiple fire companies, leading the investigation into the source of the exposure. Initial assessments were conducted on nine individuals, following which firefighters proceeded to enter the building, equipped with devices to gather readings to determine the possible cause of the apparent exposure.

E. 3rd Street was temporarily closed between Palmetto Street and Hampton Street to facilitate the emergency response at the Hamilton County Health Department, located at 921 E. 3rd Street. However, the street has since been reopened as emergency responders have completed their investigation and subsequent hazard elimination processes, ascertaining the building safe for all occupants.

Victims in Stable Condition

After the emergency medical assessment, five individuals were transferred to a nearby hospital by EMS for further evaluation. Their condition remains stable with no life-threatening injuries, according to the latest update from healthcare professionals. The identities of the victims have not been released yet.

This alarming incident served as a grave reminder of the importance of implementing and adhering to safety procedures and protocols in workplaces, ensuring the well-being of employees and the public. The Chattanooga Health Department moved swiftly in response to the event, ensuring the situation was handled effectively with the help of local emergency services.

The timely response and rapid recovery of the situation are a testimony to Chattanooga’s well-integrated emergency response system, contributing to the city’s ongoing efforts towards maintaining public health and safety.

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