Pool cleaning chemicals to blame for Squamish landfill evacuation

Freedom of information documents reveal details about September incident

Authorities suspect pool cleaning substances are to blame for the chemical exposure at the Squamish landfill that sent at least two people to the hospital in September, according to Freedom of Information documents recently obtained by The Chief.

It's one of the details outlined in debriefing notes drawn up by municipal staff following the incident.

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The notes, obtained via the FOI request, show that a member of the public left a bag of garbage next to a container.

The bag then ruptured after a landfill employee threw it into the container.

This caused the contents to spill. At first, two employees were exposed to "noxious" chemical odours.

A third employee in an equipment cab was unaware of the chemicals. That person picked up the container and went past the weigh scale, which exposed a fourth employee to the chemicals.

That fourth employee then called offsite supervisors and the site supervisor. The site was later evacuated.

Two employees were hospitalized, the report says.

A member of the public was affected, the notes show, but it's unclear if that person was treated and released by paramedics or whether that person went to hospital.

*This story has been updated to clarify the location of the incident.

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