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Chemical reaction during sink cleaning forces evacuation of Oakmont nursing home

OAKMONT, Pa. — A chemical reaction while cleaning a clogged sink led to the evacuation of a nursing home in Oakmont.

According to Allegheny County emergency officials, maintenance workers were putting drain cleaner into a clogged slop sink. There was a chemical reaction and it started fuming.

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This happened just after 3 p.m. on Thursday afternoon at Oakmont Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation on Ann Street.

The chemical explosion was described by a nurse as a “blast.” The 76 residents in the home were evacuated.

From Chopper 11, you could see people sitting outside in wheelchairs. They were being wheeled one-by-one into a building across the street.

The nursing staff told Channel 11′s Amy Hudak that all of the residents were safe. One staff member was treated at the scene.

Two Port Authority buses were brought in as temporary shelter. The Salvation Army was also called in to assist.

The facility put its “mass casualty” plan into action, as first responders from nearly every surrounding town rushed to help. Officials said the plan paid off, as no one was seriously hurt.

HAZMAT crews worked to ventilate the facility, and residents were allowed back into the building Thursday night.

4201 was picking up HM1 from the county garage when he was requested by 4046 (ACES HazMat Coordinator) to assist with a...

Posted by Allegheny County HMRT 420 on Thursday, June 18, 2020

County officials told Channel 11 the facility is regulated by the state, and this incident will be investigated.

Inspection Reports

11 Investigates’ Angie Moreschi looked into inspection reports for Oakmont Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation on the Nursing Home Compare website.

The facility has an overall 2-star rating, which is below average, based on health inspections, staffing and quality measures.

Inspection reports through the Pennsylvania Department of Health website shows seven inspections at the facility this year alone, following several complaints.

The facility was cited following an inspection in January 2020 for failing to thoroughly investigate and report possible abuse.

The last inspection was for a complaint at the end of April, but the facility was not cited at that time.

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