Maintenance Worker Hurt in Chemical Leak Inside School

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A maintenance worker is in the hospital after a hazmat situation at a local school. NBC10's Denise Nakano has the details. (Published Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014)

    A maintenance worker is recovering after a chemical leak led to a hazmat situation at a Northeast Philadelphia high school.

    Officials say they received a call reporting a chemical leak at the Benjamin Rush School on the 11000 block of Knights Road at 7:12 p.m. on Tuesday. When crews arrived, they discovered that there was a release of freon inside the school basement. Freon is a cooling agent often used in air conditioners.

    "What we found in the basement was a mechanical failure," said Philadelphia Fire Deputy Commissioner Jesse Wilson. "That mechanical failure caused a 600-pound vessel of freon, typical freon that you can buy in a Pep Boys or any place like that."

    A Hazmat situation was declared at 7:29 p.m. Officials say a maintenance worker was injured during the incident. He was taken to Aria-Torresdale Hospital, treated for dizziness and is currently in stable condition.

    The incident was placed under control around 10:30 p.m.

    "On the exterior of the building now, all readings are negative and there is no danger to the community," Wilson said.

    Police Public Affairs initially reported that the leak caused an explosion inside the basement. Fire officials say the explosion has not yet been confirmed however. They continue to investigate.