The furry convention gas leak in Chicago has been deemed an intentional attack. Local police officers stated that the process by which the gas was released “suggests an intentional act.” Thousands of people attending the Midwest FurFest convention dressed in furry animal costumes were evacuated from the Hyatt hotel in the Rosemont area after the chlorine gas incident.
Rosemont first responders were called to the Hyatt furry convention to investigate a noxious odor that was rapidly spreading across the ninth floor. A “high level” of chlorine gas was discovered in the air, resulting in 19 Midwest FurFest convention attendees being transported to Chicago area hospitals. The victims were reportedly treated for dizziness, nausea, and other medical issues.
The chlorine gas attack disrupted the weeklong furry convention. The Midwest FurFest celebrates art, literature, and performance based around anthropomorphic animals, according to the Chicago Tribune. The annual furry convention reportedly attracts thousands of people from around the country each year.
Hazardous materials technicians found the chlorine gas source in a stairway on the ninth floor of the Hyatt hotel. The gas appeared to be left in a powdered form. The technicians had to decontaminate the area and test the air quality several times before FurFest attendees and others were permitted back inside the Chicago area hotel.
“A lot of people thought this was just someone pulling the fire alarm,” furry convention attendee Thomas Zell, told the media. “But it was serious this time.”
Iowa residents Chris Delaney and Morgan Smejkel call the Midwest FurFest gas leak incident “shocking.” The pair said they did not hear the fire alarms going off from where they were inside the building, and only learned of the emergency evacuation order via Hyatt hotel staff.
“It was like you walked into a pool. It was pungent,” Chris Delaney said.
Furry fandom is “a subculture interested in fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics,” according to Wikipedia.
In spite of the gas leak incident, the Midwest FurFest will go on, according to a statement released by convention organizers.
“As we wake up today we want to continue to provide the best possible convention that we can, despite the trying circumstances. We ask you to continue to be patient, and remember that the volunteers who make Midwest FurFest happen intend to give 110 percent to make sure that the fun, friendship, and good times of Midwest FurFest 2014 overshadow last night’s unfortunate incident.”
What do you think of the furry convention gas leak attack?
[Image via: WESA/NPR]