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Jan 6, 2015

04:25:25 GMT--HAZMAT - North-America - USA

EDIS Number: HZ-20150106-46562-USA

Date / time: 06/01/2015 04:22:54 [UTC]


Area: North-America

Country: USA

State/County: State of Georgia

Location: Norcross [911 Center, Gwinnett County]

Number of Deads: N/A

Number of Injured: 5 person(s)

Number of Infected: N/A

Number of Missing: N/A

Number of Affected: N/A

Number of Evacuated: N/A

Damage level: N/A


Emergency crews responded Monday to a hazmat call from Gwinnett County's 911 center. The Gwinnett Police Department released this official statement: "At about 9:56am, a member of the 911 Center notified all officers that they had an emergency in the 911 Center. The Center was immediately evacuated. The delivery of 911 Services has continued. Five employees were transported to the hospital for evaluation." According to the Gwinnett County Fire Department, six people were originally displaying symptoms of injury, but only five were taken to hospitals. A fire suppression system activated in the building that uses heptaflouropropane, a gas that helps extinguish fires by decreasing the oxidation rate of flames. It is harmful when inhaled, but does not cause long-term health effects, according to fire department spokesman, Tommy Rutledge. The county uses that type of system instead of water sprinklers to avoid damaging the sensitive electronics in their emergency services building. A shift supervisor reported smelling smoke just before the system automatically went off, but no evidence of a fire was ever discovered. Investigators are still trying to determine what set the system off. The fire suppression system pumped gas through the floor and ceiling and filled the rooms of the call center, making it difficult for employees to breathe. One person reported an injury due to a ceiling tile falling on top of them. 911 reported no disruption in handling emergency calls. Their operations were temporarily moved to a mobile command truck in the parking lot and in classrooms inside the police department. The building re-opened for full services at about 5:30 p.m.

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