Oilfield worker (frac’er? radioactive waste handler?) covered in sour crude oil (or frac waste?) “so strong and noxious” entire Weyburn General Hospital was contaminated and evacuated, source later “bagged and tagged.”

Services resume at Weyburn General Hospital following evacuation by 650 CKOM, Jan 13, 2024

The Saskatchewan Health Authority announced that services would resume at Weyburn General Hospital at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The hospital was evacuated on Friday due to the presence of a strong chemical odour that was initially thought to be a gas leak.

However, it was revealed that the source of the odour was clothing brought in by a patient that was contaminated with crude oil.

The SHA and the Weyburn Fire Department cleaned and inspected the building and it was deemed safe to resume operations.

The source of the odour was bagged and tagged on Friday.

“I would like to thank our patients, their families, the community of Weyburn and the many staff and physicians involved in helping us through the past 24 hours,” said Derek Miller, Chief Operating Officer for the Saskatchewan Health Authority in a media release. “The evacuation during this extremely cold weather could not have been done without the care, compassion and dedication of SHA staff, physicians and paramedics who acted in the best interests of patient safety at every step.”

The SHA said the 22 patients that had been evacuated were relocated to local care homes and other health centres. In another release sent on Friday, it said 19 remained evacuated.

On Saturday, it said the remaining patients will be returned to Weyburn General Hospital throughout the afternoon.

Weyburn hospital evacuated due to gas leak: SHA by 980 CJME, Jan 12, 2024

The Weyburn General Hospital had to be evacuated on Friday.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority initially said a reported gas leak was the cause of the incident.

Weyburn fire chief Trent Lee, however, said the cause was a patient coming into the hospital with crude oil contaminating their clothing.

“That odour was distributed throughout the hospital by the HVAC system, so that clothing was bagged and tagged and removed from the building,” Lee said. “Crews stayed on scene to assist with ventilation to try and get rid of the smell from the hospital.

A total of 22 patients were removed from the hospital and sent to local care homes, with paramedics on standby for support. All staff members were required to leave the building as well.

Lee said crews were dispatched around 11:30 a.m. for a report of a gas leak.

“With the assistance of SaskEnergy, they went through the building with different types of gas detection and monitors to determine what the cause and origin of this odour was,” Lee said. “In the meantime, it was decided patients and staff would be evacuated because it wouldn’t be a quick and easy diagnosis of the situation.”

In a release, the health authority said patient safety is always its top priority, and noted it is working with the Weyburn police and fire departments and SaskEnergy to manage the situation.

Lee said it would be up to the SHA to determine when the hospital would re-open.

In another release sent out later that evening, the SHA said services at the hospital would remain disrupted, including Emergency Department services.

Anyone in the area in need of urgent or emergency care was advised to call 911 or travel to the closest hospital outside of Weyburn.

“During an extensive investigation into a reported gas leak at Weyburn General Hospital, it was been determined that a gas leak did not occur. While a gas leak has been ruled out, a strong chemical odour was observed throughout the building,” the statement read.

“Initial investigations indicate that the strong chemical odour was brought in on the clothing of a patient seeking treatment at the facility. The SHA will be continuing this investigation with the assistance of the Weyburn Fire Department to rule out any other possible sources of the chemical odour.19 patients remain evacuated at local care homes and will be accommodated in place overnight at these facilities while investigations into the cause of the chemical odour continue. Other patients have been discharged or arranged alternate care plans in the community.”

The SHA said it will provide ongoing updates and will notify the public when servies continue at Weyburn General Hospital.

Patient may be source of chemical smell that caused Saskatchewan hospital evacuation Weyburn, Sask
by The Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail, January 12, 2024

The Saskatchewan Health Authority says a patient may have been the source of a strong gas smell throughout a hospital that prompted the evacuation of the building.

The health authority said earlier in the day that the evacuation of Weyburn General Hospital was due to a reported gas leak.

Twenty-two patients plus staff at the hospital southeast of Regina were moved out for their safety.

Weyburn fire Chief Trent Lee says it appears a patient was covered in a crude oil substance, though it remains unclear exactly what it was.I expect EMS, Fire chief and workers, the worker himself and hospital staff will never find out, especially if he was handling radioactive frac/oilfield waste, or on a frac job.

The health authority says it is working with the fire department to rule out any other possible sources of the chemical odour.

All services at the hospital have been disrupted and the health authority is advising anyone in the Weyburn area who requires urgent emergency care to travel to the nearest hospital outside the city.

2 of the comments:

Veil of Glamorgan:

How do you not notice a patient covered in oil?

Oh wait, must have been someone visiting from Alberta.


Patient contaminated with ‘crude oil substance’ prompts evacuation of Weyburn hospital
by Hannah Spray, Jan 13, 2024, CBC

A patient was the source of a strong gas smell that spread through the Weyburn General Hospital and prompted the evacuation of the building, says the city’s fire chief.

“It was a patient who came in, a worker in the oilfield who came in contaminated with a crude oil substance, which spread throughout the building and was recirculated by the building’s HVAC system,” Weyburn fire Chief Trent Lee said.

Fire crews were dispatched at 11:30 a.m. CST Friday after the gas smell was reported. They evacuated all the staff and patients because they didn’t have the source identified at that time, Lee said.

With it being so strong and noxious, it was in the best interest of all patients to be moved as they’re in the hospital with various conditions and … it’s just better to evacuate until we verify everything is safe for them to return,” he said.

Weyburn is about 100 kilometres southeast of Regina.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority said in a news release on Friday that 22 patients were moved to local care homes. The health authority said later Friday that 19 of those patients will be accommodated overnight at those care homes, while others had been discharged or have alternate care plans.

It advised anyone in the area requiring urgent care to call 911 or go to the nearest hospital outside Weyburn.

Lee said the health authority would be making the call on when people would be able to return to the building.

In response to an inquiry, a Saskatchewan Health Authority spokesperson said no one was available for an interview and that more information would be provided when it was available.

Just after 5 p.m. CST Friday, the SHA said hospital services were still disrupted, including emergency services, as the health authority investigated the “strong chemical odour.”

In an emailed statement, SaskEnergy said staff attended to a call at the Weyburn hospital on Friday, but did not detect any natural gas leaks.

“Our technicians have determined the odour was not natural gas-related,” the statement said.

Sask. worker covered in crude oil prompts hospital evacuation by Drew Postey, Jan 12, 2024, CTV News Regina [News clip at link]

A worker who arrived at Weyburn General Hospital on Friday drenched in crude oil prompted a building-wide evacuation and reports of a gas leak, according to the city’s fire chief.

Around 11:30 Friday morning crews were called to the hospital for what was believed to be a gas leak, 22 patients along with staff were taken from the building and moved to local care homes, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) said.

“Shortly thereafter it was identified that a patient had come into the hospital contaminated with a crude oil product from the oil field. That odour spread throughout the building with the assistance of the HVAC system,” Weyburn Fire Chief Trent Lee told CTV News.

Lee said as of 2:30 Friday afternoon crews remained on the scene performing ventilation operations throughout the whole building.That will not get rid of toxic chemicals that might be present in the sour crude oil or waste. They might have contaminated walls, fabrics, curtains, bandages, towels, bedding, etc.

Lee added there was no reports of injuries or any harm caused to anyone in the hospital.

According to the SHA, anyone in the Weyburn area requiring urgent or emergent care is urged to call 911 or travel to their nearest hospital outside of Weyburn.

In an update sent out around 5:15 p.m., the SHA said all services at the hospital remain on disruption. The SHA and the Weyburn Fire Department will work to rule out any other possible sources of the chemical odour.

The SHA said 19 patients remain evacuated at local care homes.

Weyburn is about 116 kilometres southeast of Regina.

Refer also to:

2008: A Toxic Spew: The near death – by frac chemicals of emergency room nurse Cathy Behr collection of articles

2008: Gas industry secrets and a nurse’s story 

[An] emergency room nurse named Cathy Behr wanted to tell Colorado’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission the story of how she nearly died after being exposed to a mystery chemical from a gas-patch accident. Regulators said she wasn’t scheduled to testify and they didn’t want to hear it. But anyone concerned about natural gas development should listen.

Behr, who works in southern Colorado, at Durango’s Mercy Regional Medical Center,
fell ill last April after being exposed for 10 minutes to a gas-field worker who had come
into the ER, his clothes damp and reeking. He’d come into contact with one of the
“secret formulas” drillers use to hydraulically fracture oil- and gas-bearing formations. Within minutes of inhaling the nauseating fumes coming off the worker, Behr lost her sense of smell. (She later told her story to the Durango Herald, a daily paper that has done excellent reporting on the incident: durangoherald.com.) The ER was locked down and the room ventilated by firefighters. But when Behr went home after her 12-hour
shift, she still couldn’t smell anything. Then the headache she’d developed got worse. A week later, her liver, heart and lungs began to shut down. She spent 30 hours in intensive care. Although the company that makes the frac’ing fluid provided Behr’s doctors with what it calls “‘Material Data Safety Sheets”‘ at the time of the incident, it refused to provide more specific information to the hospital once she fell ill, according to the Herald. 

2010: Natural Gas Operations from a Public Health Perspective

For many years, drillers have insisted that they do not use toxic chemicals to drill for gas, only guar gum, mud, and sand. While much attention is being given to chemicals used during fracking, our findings indicate that drilling chemicals can be equally, if not more dangerous.

2012: Why was a 2012 Health Canada Report, admitting significant health hazards and risks to groundwater and air from hydraulic fracturing, kept from the public? And still keeps it from the public?

2012: First Study of Its Kind Detects 44 Hazardous Air Pollutants at Gas Drilling Sites, With gas wells in some states being drilled near schools and homes, scientists see a need for better chemical disclosure laws and follow-up research More than a decade later, that need is still not fulfilled by industry or its toxic enablers, our regulators and politicians.

2012: TINY DOSES OF GAS DRILLING CHEMICALS MAY HAVE BIG HEALTH EFFECTS, Authors of new study encourage more low-dose testing of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, with implications for the debate on natural gas drilling

2012: The Big Secret? Fracking Fluids

2013: Extreme Levels of Benzene Floating Around Gas Wells and Compressor Stations; Fracking effects: A long-term study of drilling’s impact shows harmful health effects

2013: Fracking giant Halliburton nixes North Carolina’s chemical disclosure rule

2014: Fracking Injuries, deaths and dangers for workers and communities

Chemical and Oil Spills

Fracking fluids, which can comprise hundreds of chemicals, are exempted from the nation’s clean water laws, allowing companies to flush chemicals into the ocean, and oil industry experts estimate that at least half of the chemical-laced water remains in the environment after a fracking operation. Surprisingly, the exact chemical makeup of the chemicals used in fracking is not public knowledge, since disclosure of these fluids is protected as proprietary trade secrets. Federal regulators are currently allowing companies to release fracking fluid into the sea without requiring them to file a separate statement or environmental impact report analyzing the possible effects, an exemption that was affirmed earlier this year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to an August 3, 2013 report in the Huffington Post. …

2014: Canada’s National Pollutant Release Inventory [NPRI] Oil and Gas Sector Review; Chemicals injected and fugitive or venting emissions (e.g. H2S) by oil and gas industry exempt from reporting

2014: Karla Labrecque’s doctor refused to do a blood test until he called the local MLA; Mike Labrecque gets sick working for Baytex, Baytex lets him go: “You’re done.”

2014: Health report: some Alberta doctors refused to treat families exposed to toxic emissions by Baytex in Peace Country, one lab refused to process a test

2014: Benzene (present in crude oil) Exposure Near the US Permissible Limit Is Associated With Sperm Aneuploidy

2014: “Some of the fluids they are drilling with are extremely toxic, diesel-based muds”

2014: Harper government enabling the frac harm cover up? Environment Canada criticized for leaving fracking chemicals off pollutant list saying not enough frac chemicals used – 362,000 litres of diesel invert lost underground near Alberta family home

2015: Fracking chemicals lower sperm count in mice when they reach adulthood, Could have fertility implications for people living in shale gas zones

2017: Firefighters: Increased disclosure needed for fracking emergencies: “Not requiring fracking companies to disclose trade secret chemicals to those we entrust with our safety, even during a disaster, is just plain irresponsible.”

2017: Fracking companies don’t have to disclose chemicals linked to health concerns

2018: Frac chemical mix causes disturbing changes in breast tissue; Low levels of chemicals used in unconventional oil & gas production cause abnormal mammary glands and pre-cancerous lesions

2021: Presentation by Justin Nobel on frac waste and its “terrifying levels of radioactivity”

2021: Alan Brubaker against frac’ing: “Those chemicals they use to frack are highly poisonous to humans. Those chemicals cannot be filtered out. What are you thinking, money over the lives of millions people?

2021: “Cradle to Grave: The Reverberating Health Hazards of Oil and Gas Industry.” Focus on workers’ exposure to PFAS chemicals, radioactivity, and effects on their families, communities and beyond.

2022: Pennsylvania Frac Lawsuit Latkanich v Chevron et. al., family contaminated with high levels benzene and toluene, PFAS “forever chemicals” and more. Brian Laktanich: “They gotta stop poisoning people”

2023: Testosterone, going going … gone? Phthalates (endocrine and metabolic disruptors), used in oil and gas wells, are some of the most hazardous chemical additives in plastics for health. People can be exposed via ingestion, inhalation, skin.

2024: How do we clean secret frac, drilling, servicing chemicals from our homes? New study says after wildfires we must clean our homes, contents, clothes and replace HEPA filters.

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