Explosion damages North Providence’s town swimming pool
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Explosion damages North Providence’s town swimming pool

Aug 22, 2023

by: Sarah Doiron

Posted: Aug 2, 2023 / 09:02 PM EDT

Updated: Aug 3, 2023 / 08:32 AM EDT

NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The North Providence Pool and Fitness Center is closed until further notice after an apparent explosion rocked the building last week.

North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi tells 12 News at first, residents thought the explosion was the result an earthquake.

Lombardi said he received a call from someone Friday morning who told him that “the whole building rumbled.”

“The lights flickered,” Lombardi said. “The whole building shook.”

The building and adjacent library were quickly evacuated as authorities investigated the cause. The library has since reopened, but the pool and fitness center will remain closed indefinitely.

Investigators ruled out an earthquake and natural gas leak, according to Lombardi. It was later determined that the explosion was caused by a buildup of chlorine gas underground.

“The hot tub came right out of the floor,” Lombardi said, adding that there are also cracks in the walls of the building. “We’ve drained the pool to try and see if there are any additional cracks in the tiles.”

Lombardi said authorities are still looking into the extent of the damage and will reopen the building once it is safe to do so.

It’s unclear at this time when the building will reopen, though Lombardi warned that it could be at least a few weeks.

“At this point in time, we just don’t know,” he said.

Thankfully, Lombardi said no one was hurt.

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