(PCM) A very frightening incident occurred at the recent furry fandom convention, Midwest FurFest, which was held at the Hyatt Hotel in Rosemont, IL located just outside of Chicago.
Authorities discovered that chlorine gas was in the air when they were called to the hotel after convention attendees became aware of the strong smell of chlorine sweeping over the ninth floor of the hotel. The hotel was evacuated at about 12:40am after hazmat technicians discovered what appeared to be powdered chlorine in the stairwell at the ninth floor.
Authorities are treating the incident as a criminal matter, as they feel someone may have intentionally placed the powdered chlorine in the stairwell and it could be looked at as a hate crime against the furry culture.
Nineteen people were sent to the hospital complaining of nausea and dizziness after the incident. Hotel guests were given the call clear by authorities and the hazmat team to return to the hotel around 4:21am.
The Midwest FurFest released the following statement in regards to the incident saying “We ask you to continue to be patient, and remember that the volunteers who make Midwest FurFest happen intend to give 110% to make sure that the fun, friendship, and good times of Midwest FurFest 2014 overshadow last night’s unfortunate incident.”
Many attendees have voiced the concerns online and in the furry forums online saying that they felt that the authorities, the convention, and the hotel handled the incident well, but they are fearful that the incident was a hate crime, terrorist attack, or both. They are also hoping that it was not a target against furs, as the convention is one place where furries are able to feel safe and have fun.
For those that don’t know, furries are individuals who are interested in anthropomorphic animal characters. They often times will create fursuits to wear to show off their various interests. The FurFest conventions are held all around the world for furries to gather together to socialize and showcase their artistic sides.