“Chemical-Type” Smell Shuts Down Santa Clara Kaiser Hospital

It is still unclear what caused a suspicious smell that briefly shut down a portion of the Kaiser Hospital in Santa Clara Sunday night, a hospital official said.

Firefighters and hazardous materials crews responded at 7:05 p.m. to the hospital after receiving a report of a "chemical-type" smell in the emergency room.

The scene was cleared around 10 p.m. after crews were unable to find anything suspicious.

Hospital spokesman Karl Sonkin said two staff members complained about a strange odor in part of the hospital's emergency department. He said the two people also complained of difficulty breathing.

Sonkin said the hospital moved patients into other areas and briefly stopped taking incoming patients while crews tried to determine what caused the smell.

Deputy Fire Chief Augie Wiedemann said one said one staff member was treated at the hospital after he said he didn't feel well after smelling the smell.

The fire department closed off a portion of the emergency room and shut down all traffic in and out of the hospital.

Wiedemann said county ambulances were lined up outside the hospital for any new patients who needed to be transported elsewhere.

Fire officials ruled out flammable gas and neurological, biological or blistering agents as the cause.

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