Emergency drill mistake costs Charleston County $95,000

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - It was only a test but it's costing Charleston County more than $95,000.

An emergency exercise ended when a worker mistakenly released fire-suppressing gas in a county building.

Internal services director Michael Filan says 1 of the records center's 10 workers somehow activated the system during a fire-evacuation drill earlier this month. The mistake released all 4,500 pounds of halon gas that was available for the building.

No one was hurt and there was no damage to the records.

Filan says it will cost about $95,000 to refill the 10 tanks of gas.

Halon gas is effective for fighting fires in sensitive areas because it doesn't leave damaging residue.

Filan says the mistake did show that the system is working.

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