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Accidental gas release forces evacuation of downtown office building

99 High Street shut due to bromine

The Boston Fire Department ordered the evacuation of the 32-story 99 High St. when a reaction of three disinfecting chemicals in an 18th-floor mechanical room sent bromine gas into the building shortly before noon.

One worker was exposed to the bromine gas and taken to the hospital for evaluation, the department reports. The department says the bromine, sodium hydroxide (lye) and glutaraldehyde were being put into the water used by the building's air-conditioning system to disinfect it.

The mechanical room's exhaust system dissipated much of the gas, but bromine could be smelled on several floors, the department says. At 12:48 p.m., the department reported:

Haz Mat Techs under air and protective suits making entry to room with various meters to check air quality.

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Comments

"Hahaha the building ate too many burritos."

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because there's a small corner of all our brains that's perpetually twelve years old. :-)

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IMAGE(http://mtv.mtvnimages.com/crop-images/2014/10/13/beavisandbutthead.jpg?width=640&height=360&crop=true&resize=true)

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Don't try to light it - it won't work.

It's a fire retard-ant.

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Friday afternoon... Might as well pack up and head home.

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Would have been good timing except many of us in the building didn't take all of our belongings with us because we figured it was a typical drill (they have them frequently). The building is still closed. I really hope the worker who was injured will be okay.

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And was wondering why the traffic was so bad, until I went outside for a bit and saw someone walking by, who also remarked on the traffic:

"I work on Milk Street, and apparently there was a chemical leak, so they told us to go home. I took a long lunch and then just got a text from my boss saying it was all clear and I should come back if I can."

Poor soul.

Then I got an email from the building about some immediate road closures...good to know what actually happened. My company's building also has maintenance oopsies and this will keep me up at night.

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Adam my inner adolescent boy says your headline game is not up to its usual awesome standard on this one.

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