17 sent to hospital because of Alder St. fumes
Ten juveniles and seven employees at the Hale Hoomalu Detention Home on Alder Street were taken to Straub Clinic & Hospital yesterday afternoon because of fumes from a resurfacing project.
Among the juveniles complaining about headaches, nausea and irritated eyes and throats were eight females and two males, between 12 and 17 years old, said city Emergency Services Department spokesman Bryan Cheplic.
He said the staff members also experienced the symptoms. Two EMS ambulances and two state vehicles at the facility were used to take the victims to Straub.
"It was a big mess down there," Cheplic said.
A Hazmat team and the Honolulu Fire Department responded to an alarm at 12:42 p.m. at the state-run facility.
Officials at the detention home said the workers and juveniles affected did not appear to be in serious condition.
The fumes came from resurfacing work at the facility's basketball court being done by contractor Ralph S. Inouye Co. The company later said the materials were not toxic.
"They had respiratory problems," fire Capt. Kenison Tejada said. "The way the winds and everything was today, it affected some of the people in the building."
Firefighters left the scene at about 3:30 p.m., Tejada said, after advising people to stay away from the fumes.
The detention center employs staff, cooks, probation officers and a nurse and provides educational, recreational, health, guidance and diagnostic services to juveniles who require temporary secure custody.