police say the release of chlorine gas that hospitalized 19 people and forced the evacuation of the Midwest FurFest was intentional, the Chicago Tribunereports.
At approximately 12:40 a.m., first responders were called to investigate a “noxious odor” at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Rosement, which was hosting the Midwest FurFest. The Rosemont Public Safety department was called in and found a high level of chlorine gas in the air.
Authorities immediately ordered all the convention-goers — many of whom were in anthropomorphic animal costumes — to exit the building. They were not allowed to return until almost 4 a.m.