Dothan City Jail Evacuated After Fumes Fill Building

Dothan, Ala. (WSFA) -- It's not what you'd call a normal day at the Dothan police department.

Around 10:00am Thursday morning, a Dothan city worker was cleaning a drain in the jail.

The worker was using sulphuric acid when it reacted with some residual material already in the drain.

This caused fumes and an odor to quickly spread through the building.

"It produced a vapor that caused some coughing, respiratory irritation if you will to a number of the inmates," explained Captain Chris Ethridge, of the Dothan Fire Department.

Both the jail and the police department were evacuated for safety.

Crews cleaned up all chemicals from the building and set up ventilation to remove the odor.

"We're ventilating the entire building to make sure there are no residual vapors in the building," said Ethridge.

While all this was taking place, police still had to monitor inmates who forced outside by the fumes.

"When we evacuate the building, especially when we're dealing with inmates, we have a fenced in area where the inmates are," said Thomas Davis, of the Dothan police department.

The incident sent 13 people to local hospitals.

Most were taken none emergency, however one person was sent emergency.

All are in stable condition.

Reporter: Daniel Curtis