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Workers sent to hospital after inhaling foam at Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport

Foam covers the ground Monday morning surrounding a hangar at the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport. (RUSS DILLINGHAM/SUN JOURNAL)

AUBURN (WGME) -- Two people were taken to the hospital after a hangar at the Auburn-Lewiston airport was filled with foam when a fire suppression system accidentally discharged.

It happened around 9 a.m. on Monday, while a private vendor was working on the system inside the hangar fire officials said is owned by German air company, Lufthansa.

"When the foam discharged it completely filled the hangar and left some of the employees inside kind of lost as they tried to get out of the building," said Auburn Fire Chief, Geoff Low.

Low said the foam was 25 feet high. Four employees were initially reported missing, but he said they had climbed some scaffolding above the foam.

"There were a couple people who inhaled some of it as it was coming out and they've been transported to the hospital for evaluation," Low said.

Low said foam is used to put out fires that may involve fuel. It's not toxic, but can be an irritant. They're not sure what caused the system to activate.

"They didn't intend to set it off," Low said.

At the advice of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, crews were pushing the foam to a safe spot where it can naturally dissolve into the ground.

Low said tell us the airport runway stayed open and operations were not impacted.




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