Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

New York State
Department of Correctional Services
Glenn S. Goord, Commissioner

Office of Public Information
[518] 457-8182

For immediate release:

Monday, November 19, 2001

Mixing of cleaners results in fumes at Mt. McGregor

The unintended mixing of two cleaning substances created noxious fumes but no serious injuries to staff or inmates this morning in the mess hall of the Mt. McGregor Correctional Facility, said Commissioner Glenn S. Goord.

Sunday night, cleaning crews dumped a mixture of water and soap balls down a floor drain after their routine cleanup of the mess hall. It is believed that some of that mixture became trapped in the drain and remained there overnight. At 5:45 a.m. today, a mess hall worker finished cleaning a wall and poured a liquid bleach mixture into the same drain. The chemical reaction between the soap and bleach resulted in fumes rising from it and adjoining drains to fill the mess hall.

Four staff and 34 inmates immediately left the mess hall. All 38 were examined by medical staff. One employee, plus the inmate who poured the cleaner into the drain this morning, were overcome by the fumes. They were transported to local hospitals for treatment. Both were admitted for observation.

Doors and windows were opened and fans were brought in to clear the mess hall of fumes. Cold water was flushed through the drainage system to stop the chemical reaction and to clear the pipes. There was no damage to the building.

Saratoga County Hazmat officials gave the okay to reopen the mess hall at 8:40 a.m. Inmates were then fed in the mess hall and the facility resumed normal operations.

Mt. McGregor is a medium-security prison in the town of Wilton that today houses 828 male inmates.