Downtown Kingston building evacuated due to hazardous materials spill

The building known as the Royal Block at the corner of Princess and King streets was evacuated Wednesday afternoon by Kingston Fire and Rescue after they and Frontenac Paramedics responded to a hazardous materials spill.

The call, which came in shortly before 2:00 p.m., required multiple ambulances and firetrucks specifically equipped to deal with hazardous materials. Frontenac Paramedics state that 8 patients have been taken to hospital with minor injuries.

While Kingston Fire and Rescue have not confirmed the nature of the hazardous materials, employees working in the building indicate that the evacuation was required after the improper mixing of two cleaning agents, specifically bleach and ammonia. The mixture of the two chemicals produces a highly noxious chloramine gas that causes burns and respiratory distress.

The building is expected to remain evacuated for 2-3 hours while the fumes are removed. More to come.

(photo courtesy First Response Media/@FRM_YGK)