A Parks Deparmtent CPW was overwhelmed by fumes while he investigated reported and odor coming from a stream In Willowbrook Park. A park patron's dog became violently ill from drinking the water and reported it to the Parks Department. (Hilton Flores/Staten Island Advance)
The mystery of the substance that sickened a Parks Department employee and reportedly several pets on a trail leading to Willowbrook Park continued on Tuesday, according to the Staten Island Advance.
Chemical tests conducted Monday on a trail leading to the park came back negative, and a Parks Department spokeswoman said city agencies would work to identify the odor.
As of Tuesday morning, a potential cause had yet to be released.
According to Councilman Steve Matteo (R-Mid-Island/Brooklyn), a white substance found in a stream on the Greenbelt's White Trail was the source of the odor. Officials encountered the stream while walking along the trail for about 15 minutes, Matteo said.
The White Trail runs between Willowbrook Park and Forest Hill Road — its northern tip is located in the park.
"There was definitely a strong smell," he said on Monday. "What that is, I don't know."
A Parks Department worker was hospitalized Monday afternoon after becoming overwhelmed by the fumes. Parks had received several reports from members of the public that their dogs became ill at the site, but were unable to confirm that.
Multiple sources told the Advance the Parks worker was investigating those claims when he too fell ill.
Monday's incident prompted a massive emergency response that included cops, firefighters, Hazmat units and the city's Office of Emergency Management.
The uncertainty has spooked area residents and visitors to Willowbrook Park.
Neil O'Sullivan was concerned because his dog had grown sick after a visit to Willowbrook. According to O'Sullivan, his dog vomited shortly after arriving at the park, and lost its appetite for a few hours afterward.
He said he didn't smell anything at Willowbrook, and had reached out to several agency for guidance, but had yet to receive any.
"No one can give an answer," he said in an e-mail to the Advance. "Was frustrating being referred and referred and referred when trying to find info on [the] severity of [the] incident."
Staten Island Advance - September 16, 2014 - By Eddie DAnna