Chemical leak forces evacuation of LI ice rink

The News Leader

May 26, 2010 5:24:45 AM PDT
A strong chemical leak that spewed noxious fumes evacuated dozens from a Bethpage ice skating rink, sending six people to the hospital. The ammonium-like odor seeped through the Oyster Bay Ice Skating Center just after 10 p.m. Tuesday. Alarms were set off, and a large number of hazardous materials crews rushed to the scene.

A hockey game was stopped and about 35 people inside were quickly evacuated.

Six people were taken to the hospital for minor injuries, including scratchy throats. They were treated and released.

Authorities say the odor was traced to a filter in a compressor that keeps the ice cold. It caused a leak of ammonium and oil, and noxious fumes quickly spread throughout the building.

The malfunction also caused the ice to start melting.

The leak was quickly stopped, and the rink could reopen as early as Wednesday.

Emergency crews ventilated the building, located in a commercial area.