6 injured after 'chemical explosion' at Ramada hotel

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ROCKVILLE CENTRE -

Six people were injured after an apparent “chemical explosion” at the Ramada on Sunrise Highway in Rockville Centre, according to the fire marshal's office.

Assistant Chief Michael Uttaro says six people were sent to Nassau University Medical Center, all with minor injuries. 

"An employee had mixed muriatic acid with chlorine, causing a chlorine gas cloud or vapor cloud," says Uttaro. 

One man staying at the inn says he didn't hear anything. But it's what he smelled that had him very concerned, and then he saw people running away from the pool area. 

"Some of the kids were running out of the pool, gasping for air, right into their rooms. It was pretty bad," says Michael Clark, who is staying at the Ramada with his family and tried to get away. "I actually ran into my room, because I caught it as I was walking in. I closed my door because I have kids. We hung out for a minute, then it got worse, so we ran out of the room."

Uttaro says the chemicals are both meant to go into the pool, but separately. He says the employee mixed them together in the outdoor pool room, causing the hazmat team to show up. 

The assistant chief fire marshal says it could have been a lot worse. Since the pool room is outside, the vapor cloud wasn't confined. They say the chemicals should fully dissipate in a few days and the pool will be reopened. 

Outside the Ramada Inn in Baldwin (Photo: John Scalesi)

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