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Explosion at Scunthorpe leisure centre caused by mixing of chemicals

23 March 2012

The chemical explosion at the £21-million Pods leisure centre at Scunthorpe in eastern England on June 18 last year happened after a worker mixed 5kg of chlorine tablets with another chemical, an official report has revealed. The explosion released a cloud of chlorine gas and delayed the opening of the swimming pool by a week.

The explosion happened after a worker mixed several chemicals despite warnings on the containers not to do so
The explosion happened after a worker mixed several chemicals despite warnings on the containers not to do so

The accident and incident investigation report, carried out by the council’s corporate safety unit, says the duty manager at The Pods walked into a cloud of chlorine gas after investigating the cause of an activated fire alarm, but he was unharmed.
The report states: “It was confirmed that cyanuric acid had been brought on site and the chemical mixed in the hopper with calcium hypochlorite. A chemical reaction had occurred causing the explosion and chlorine gas to be formed.”
An assessment of the pool hall discovered two empty tubs of Blue Horizon Chlorine tablets outside the plant room door by the pool. It was later confirmed that 5kg of tablets were placed into the hopper.

The trichloroisocyanuric acid contained in the tablet would have reacted with the calcium hypochlorite to form chlorine gas, the report says.
 
A spokesman for HSE confirmed no-one was prosecuted. A council spokesman said: “A number of recommendations were made by the council’s corporate safety unit and these have since been implemented.”


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