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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    When vending machines attack
    Texas drink dispenser emits WWI-era poison gas
    Updated: 6:26 p.m. ET June 24, 2004HOUSTON - An exploding vending machine turned the coolant freon into phosgene, a poisonous gas used as a chemical weapon in World War I, and forced the evacuation of 10 people from a Texas hospital, officials said Thursday.

    A food service employee was working on the refrigerated soft drink machine at the Park Place Medical Center in Port Arthur, Texas, when a small explosion and fire occurred inside it Wednesday morning, Port Arthur Fire Marshal Mark Mulliner said.

    “When freon gas from the cooling system came into contact with the heat from the fire, it changed composition to a phosgene gas,” Mulliner said.

    Phosgene irritates the lungs, eyes, mouth and nose and, in strong enough concentrations, causes fatal amounts of fluid to build up in the lungs.

    Ten people on the third floor of the hospital were evacuated for several hours while the area was ventilated, said Heather Ross of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

    Two firefighters were kept in the hospital overnight for observation, Ross said.

    “We were fortunate one of our officers who was first on the scene had some familiarity with phosgene and quickly evacuated the area,” Mulliner said.

    Ross said state Homeland Security officials had to be notified of the incident because of phosgene’s possible use as a chemical weapon.

    Mulliner said the incident appeared to be a “freak accident.”

    “I’ve been here 27 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.

    Copyright 2004 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    Oh my GOD!!!! Attack of the refrigeration regime.
    There are 3 ways to do anything in life; Good, Fast, Slow: You can pick any 2.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    What a bunch of babies. I inhaled more phosgene than most of the holocaust victims and you never heard me whine about it did ya?
    Hey cockroach, don't bug me! ©

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Slacking off right now
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    I agree, theres nothing like trying to weld up a leak in a coolroom choking on gas as your welding just trying to get the last bit and turning your head so you can breathe with out burning out your nose - The best tool bags on the market - The offical tool bag of choice by techs everywhere

    Arguing with some people is like wrestling a pig - eventually you realise the pig actually enjoys it

    Gonads serve a useful purpose but are no substitute for brains

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Talking the soft drink techs will like this

    that is pretty wild i wouldnt mind setting it up in a couple of colleges we deal with,these are our future presidents,lawyers,doctors trashing soda machines for the sake of a dollar,go figure.
    if at first you dont succeed,then skydiving is not for you

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    erie pa
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    And pencil pushers wonder why we cant smell the odor that came out of their diffuser but nobody elses in the same area. Hmmmmmm

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