Reduced staffs will attempt to maintain operations of all offices in the District of Columbia's Municipal Center building for the rest of this week, the D.C. government announced yesterday.
To ease the health hazard from fumes lingering from last Thursday's accidental explosion of tear gas, people assigned to offices in the structure will work only four-hour shifts until decontamination efforts are completed.
By staggering work hours for individual exployees, all offices will be kept open, except when decontamination teams are scrubbing in specific areas. Employes with health problems will be granted administrative leave.
The building, at 4th Street and Indiana Avenue NW, houses police headquarters and various units of the city's motor vehicles, finance and vital statistics agencies.
Many people needing to do business with these agencies have been turned away because of the gas problem.
During the cleanup, only the C Street (south) entrance to the building will be open for public use. The Indiana Avenue (north) entrance will be closed. Potential visitors were advised to telephone in advance to make sure the office they want to visit is not temporarily closed.
Police disclosed for the first time yesterday that 200 six-ounce containers of tear gas were detonated. Some of the gas was of a type, CN, that is toxic and especially irritating in enclosed spaces.