There was a chlorine gas alarm on Friday afternoon in the Erlebnistherme Fügen in the Tyrolean Zillertal. 254 people then had to be taken out of the building. For a few visitors, the day ended in hospital.
Because some guests suddenly felt nauseous, the chlorine gas leak was discovered around 3 p.m. The spa was then immediately closed. The alarmed Fügen fire brigade evacuated the entire building – 254 people had to be brought outside. “At first, the guests couldn’t quite believe that we were evacuating,” says Reinhard Haun, fire brigade commander at Fuegen. The Jenbach fire brigade was also on duty with a special emergency vehicle for hazardous goods. According to the thermal bath operator, the Red Cross had to treat around ten guests with mild symptoms of poisoning on site, seven of whom were then taken to the Schwaz hospital. The cause is being investigated. The hazardous goods experts from the Jenbach fire brigade went inside the thermal baths in full-body protective suits and measured the chlorine and pH values. According to Reinhard Haun, no irregularities were initially found. “In retrospect, a technician checked it out. It turned out that a probe was broken. This released more chlorine into the water,” explains the fire brigade commander. The gas was distributed even faster when the bubble systems were switched on. The management of the spa said the incident was being investigated. In order to be able to release the operation again, one works together with the authority. Poisoning with the yellow-green, pungent-smelling chlorine gas affects the whole body, causing breathing and circulatory problems as well as disorders of the digestive tract. Chlorine can also cause serious damage to the eyes. The gas was used as a deadly weapon during World War I.