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Two men charged for chemical accident

The public prosecutor brought a charge against two employees of Olís in Reydarfjördur before the District Court of East Iceland yesterday, for causing a chemical accident in the swimming pool in Eskifjördur last summer.

The defendants are charged for offences against public safety and may have to pay fines or to serve a prison sentence of up to three years. Victims of the accident may also press charges. RÚV reports.

The accident occurred on June 27 last year when the employees of Olís in Reydarfjördur pumped acetic acid into the chlorine tank of the swimming pool in the nearby town Eskifjördur.

The combination of chemicals created poisonous chlorine gas which spread across the swimming pool area.

Forty-five were poisoned by the gas, which caused them to throw up, their eyes to sting and irritation and pains in their respiratory organs and lungs.

All health workers in the area were called to the scene and reinforcements were sent from Akureyri and Reykjavík.

Many of the victims were unable to work for months after the accident and one of the victims questioned by RÚV said he had still not recovered fully.

In the public prosecutor’s charge it is stated that the acetic acid tank was labeled as such and therefore the director of Olís in Reydarfjördur and his subordinate should be held responsible for causing the accident.

The case will open on April 22.

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