CAMANO ISLAND, Wash. – About 30 homes were evacuated late Tuesday and early Wednesday after a tank full of chlorine gas was cut open. As of Wednesday morning, crews have the leak 99 percent contained.
Island County Sheriff Mark Brown said the first report of white gas coming from a residence in the 1300 block of Bartl Drive happened around 8 p.m. Tuesday. Emergency responders arrived at the residence and detected a foul odor and left the area.
Fire officials at the scene say a man had several old tanks that he was scrapping, which he thought were empty. But when he cut one of them open, it was full of chlorine gas. Fire officials confirm the man is a volunteer firefighter.
Some evacuees complained of resipiratory issues after the leak. In total, eight people were taken to the hospital as a precaution. The majority of them were firefighters and police. All of the patients had returned home from the hospital by Wednesday morning.
About 25 to 30 residents were initially evacuated, but about half of those residents were allowed to return early Wednesday.
A special team is set to remove the leaking tank at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday. Most evacuees should be able to return home by noon.