It was no ordinary emergency when guests at the Midwest FurFest Convention in Chicago had to evacuate their hotel because of a chlorine gas leak.
Patrons poured onto the streets – many dressed as the cute cartoon and storybook characters they had come to celebrate.
The Midwest FurFest
event honours and promotes animal characters seen in comics, television and films.
So people dressed as bears, raccoons, tigers and other animals were seen milling around outside the 1,100-room Hyatt Regency Hotel in Rosemont, Illinois, near O’Hare International Airport hotel.
Well at least they were cozy in the cold Chicago night…
“We’ve been having a grand old time and we do not know what’s going on at this time,” said chief organiser Samuel Conway, after the evacuation.
“We have been asked to leave the hotel for unknown reasons but we have a lot of costumers out here with big fluffy costumes that will keep people warm, so at this point we are not at all worried.”
But it was not all cute capers. At least 19 people needed hospital treatment for nausea and dizziness. And monkey business is suspected. It is thought chlorine powder left deliberately in a ninth-floor stairwell is what made the fur fly.