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Haz-Mat Crews Called to Walmart Parking Lot

A hazardous-materials recycler working in the back of a truck was overcome by chlorine gas Wednesday morning.

A hazardous-materials recycler working in the back of a truck parked behind Walmart on Community Road Wednesday morning was overcome by fumes after a lid came off an un-labeled container, according to the Poway Fire Department.

The recycler, a male whose name and age have not been released, was taken to Pomerado Hospital because of shortness of breath and an elevated heart rate, said Mark Sanchez, director of Safety Services. Haz-mat crews from Poway and the county responded and neutralized the chemicals without any further injuries.

Around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, the recycler was arranging containers in the back of a box truck when the lid came off a container of HTH chlorine, which is commonly used to sanitize swimming-pool water, Sanchez said. The man began to feel faint and experienced shortness of breath from a strong odor coming from the container, and he exited the truck and walked about 50 feet upwind.

Sheriff’s deputies arrived and set up a perimeter around the truck as crews from city and county haz-mat teams and San Diego Fire-Rescue responded. The yellow container was not labeled, Sanchez said, but a Walmart employee assisted in identifying the contents.

The Poway Fire Department cleared the scene at 10:30 a.m., Sanchez said.

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