NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A foul odor forced the 9/11 Memorial to shut down for hours on Sunday.

As CBS2’s Matt Kozar reported, it happened after visitors at the memorial complained of a chlorine smell coming from the fountain in the south pool. Police and firefighters evacuated the plaza for two hours.

“Suddenly, my throat started burning and I sat down and drank my water,” Maria Hollowell said.

Hazmat descended on the memorial as the Department of Environmental Protection tested the water.

A spokesperson with 9/11 Memorial blamed the smell on decomposing algae, exacerbated by Saturday night’s rain and said it did not pose any health risks.

Dr. Michael Caldwell is the former Health Commissioner in Dutchess County and lives in the area.

When it gets too much, especially on a hot day like today, it probably aerosolized so there have been more coming off in the air. And with a bunch of people here on a Sunday, there are more people being afected,” he explained.