WASHINGTON (WMAL)– Part of the Smithsonian National Zoo was evacuated Thursday due to a chlorine explosion.
No animals or humans were harmed in the explosion, zoo spokesperson Annalisa Meyer confirmed.
The explosion happened in a mechanical room at the zoo’s American Trail exhibit, which houses sea lions, seals, otters, and some other marine species.
“A contractor was doing routine work in the room. He smelled chlorine, and he left the room. Then there was a loud bang,” Meyer said.
The D.C. Fire Department is on the scene and has sent a haz mat team into the area as a precautionary measure. Once zoo officials get the all-clear from the fire department, Meyer says, staff will conduct a safety check and reopen the exhibit.
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