On March 8, 2012, a family clinic run by Puget Sound Hospital (some names and links are changed in this example) in Seattle called the fire department to report an exposure to film developer chemical from an x-ray machine. Local residents reading their Twitter feed might have learned about it from the tweets listed below.
Note that the hospital in charge of the clinic tweeted nearly an hour after the first tweet. In the days when news releases and press conferences were the main forms of public communication, this event wouldn't have registered as news. And in the not-so-distant past, an hour would have been a reasonable time to provide information to the public. But in the current age of social media and crowd-sourced information, an hour is more than ample time for misinformation and rumors to circulate.
Puget Sound Family Clinic is open but PSFC dental clinic is closed while Fire Dept. checks out xray machine leak
E Jackson hazmat: Chemicals mixed in an X-ray lab affected 4 workers; 1 hospitalized as a precaution http://kiro.tv
Big HazMat response has E Jackson tied up. Only 1 person sickened by spilled chemical at children’s clinic but big response
SFD HazMat Team responding to Puget Sound Clinic on East Jackson St. for multiple sick patients. PIO responding to scene.
HazMat units dispatched to report of multiple sick patients at children's clinic on Jackson. Listen live: http://bit.ly/KJt5T