Harrison County

Victims identified in stolen car wreck that caused dangerous chlorine cloud

Members of the Gulfport Fire Departments Hazmat team are suited up to check chlorine tanks in a utility building hit by a car on Saturday night off Palmer Creek Drive in Harrison County. Two people died in the accident.
Members of the Gulfport Fire Departments Hazmat team are suited up to check chlorine tanks in a utility building hit by a car on Saturday night off Palmer Creek Drive in Harrison County. Two people died in the accident.

Christopher Johnson, 40, who was driving a BMW that had been reported stolen, and passenger Caitlin Dubose, 20, died Saturday night when the car left Palmer Creek Drive in Harrison County, plowed through a fence, hit a metal utility building and veered off into the woods.

Dubose was pregnant, according to a friend and Dubose’s Facebook page.

Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove identified the victims Sunday afternoon, saying both were from Saucier. Hargrove said Johnson was driving a 2006 BMW 650 that had been reported stolen from the Saucier area.

Harrison County Fire Services Chief Pat Sullivan said the collision damaged the valve and pipes on a chlorine tank inside the metal building. A cloud of chlorine was released.

He said deputies who responded to the accident off East Wortham Road were treated at the scene for chlorine exposure.

Sullivan said residents nearby were warned to go inside their houses, and keep their doors and windows closed. He said the chlorine cloud had dissipated when he arrived about 15 minutes after the accident.

In addition to the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, Harrison County Fire Services, the Gulfport Fire Department’s HAZMAT team and emergency responders from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality worked the accident.

Emergency responders determined the leak had stopped and the tanks were secure before cleanup started.

Sullivan said the utility building is part of a water system for the area.

The Sun Herald will update this story when more details are available.

Anita Lee: 228-896-2331, @calee99

  Comments