Jul 23, 2007

Colorado Chlorine Explosion Injures Four

A chlorine explosion at a water treatment plant in Berthoud, Colo., injured four people last week and left the facility damaged.

According to the Glenwood Spring Post Independent, all four worked at the Carter Lake Filtration Plant. Only two of those injured needed to be taken to the hospital. In addition, four firefighters needed to be decontaminated after being exposed to the chemical.

Judy Dahl, business manager for the Little Thompson Water District, one of the operators of the plant, told the Glenwood Spring Post Independent, that a truck was unloading chemicals at the time, but it is not yet clear what caused the explosion.

Dahl also reported that no water-quality problems were expected because other plants in the system were still operating.

Chlorine is used to disinfect water but is toxic as a gas and poses a serious risk of fire and explosion. Currently, it is not known how much chlorine actually leaked.