Chlorine-Gas Attack Interrupts Furry Convention

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BERLIN, GERMANY - AUGUST 22:  Furry enthusiasts greet one another at the Eurofurence 2014 conference on August 22, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. Furry fandom, a term used in zines as early as 1983 and also known as furrydom, furridom, fur fandom or furdom, refers to a subculture whose followers express an interest in anthropomorphic, or half-human, half-animal, creatures in literature, cartoons, pop culture, or other artistic contexts. Many but not all of the followers of the movement wear furry animal costumes. The earliest citation of anthropomorphic literature regularly cited by furry fans is Aesop's Fables, dating to around 500 BC.  (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
Photo: Adam Berry/2014 Getty Images

Police are investigating a chlorine-gas leak that interrupted a Chicago-area furry convention on Sunday and sent 19 people to the hospital. According to the AP, “The source of the gas was apparently chlorine powder left in a 9th-floor stairwell at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, according to the Rosemont Public Safety Department. Investigators believe the gas was created intentionally and are treating it as a criminal matter.”

For those not familiar: Furries are people who like to dress up in anthropomorphic animal costumes. Many attendees of the 2014 Midwest FurFest were still in their plush outfits when they and hundreds of non-costumed folks were forced from the hotel at 12:40 a.m. One furry described the scene at the nearby Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, where Hyatt guests were sent to keep warm until they could return to their rooms: “There was a dog-grooming trade show going on and in walk all these people dressed like dogs and foxes.” It’s just one of those weekends.