Unstable lithium-ion batteries removed from Tampa hospital
UPDATE: The center is expected to reopen on Monday.
TAMPA, Fla. (WWSB) - Authorities removed more than 3,000 pounds of unstable lithium-ion batteries from a Johns Hopkins All Children’s Outpatient Care building on Thursday due to the potential for an explosion.
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Tampa Outpatient Center experienced several power issues yesterday and as employees entered the building this morning, they smelled an odor. Firefighters and hazmat responders were dispatched around 9 a.m. regarding reports of an electrical smell coming from an MRI room.
Authorities discovered a bank of 30 lithium-ion batteries, two of which were ruptured, that were swelling and emitting gas that could be toxic and posed risk of an explosion.
Hillsborough County Fire Rescue evacuated 80 people from the building and as a precaution, they were screened for any symptoms. Three people were treated and released at a local hospital for respiratory concerns.
There is no longer threat of an explosion. The cause of the unstable batteries is unknown at this time.
Fire rescue is using fans to air out the building and conduct air quality tests. The center will remain closed Friday as the fire department continues their investigation.
ABC7 will update this story as more information is received.
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