Monday, October 10, 2011

Downtown Salt Lake hotel evacuated after inadvertent discharge of bear repellent spray - 9th Oct 2011

Salt Lake firefighters evacuated a downtown hotel shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday after a housekeeper inadvertently discharged a canister of bear repellent spray in a hallway.

According to a Salt Lake City Fire Department spokesman, the some 200 people were evacuated from the Marriott Hotel at 75 S. West Temple.

One person was transported by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment. Paramedics treated other people at the scene.

Most bear sprays contain hot chili pepper extract or capsaicin. According to a U.S. Forest Service website, if a bear repellent spray canister inadvertently discharges in a vehicle, "the operator could become incapacitated or physically affected by the spray."

When the spray comes in contact with skin, especially eyes or mucous membranes, it is painful. Breathing small particles of the spray as it disperses can cause difficulty breathing, according to Wikipedia. Source