Columbus Ohio, Hundreds Evacuate VA Medical Clinic, Seven Taken to Hospital Due to Carbon Monoxide Leak : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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Hundreds Evacuate VA Medical Clinic, Seven Taken to Hospital Due to Carbon Monoxide Leak Location Date of Incident Columbus, OH, United States 1/5/2000- 3:00 PM CSB Incident Number NRC Report Number Board Ref. Number 2000-4565 None Reported None Reported Current Status Date of Report Update No CSB Action 1/6/2000 - 1:20 AM Incident Types Location Types - Release to Environment Fixed Facility Evacuations Injuries Fatalities 370 (Estimate) 7 (Estimate) None Reported Chemicals Involved - Carbon Monoxide Description or Latest Development ----- Information Added: Thursday, January 6, 2000 - 1:35 AM ----- About 100 patients and 270 employees at a Veterans Administration outpatient clinic were evacuated Wednesday (Jan. 5, 2000) because of a carbon monoxide leak.

Seven people were taken to hospitals, including one person who had a seizure in the clinic's parking lot during the evacuation, said Deputy Fire Chief Karry Ellis.

Four employees of the clinic, including one man who fainted from inhaling the carbon monoxide, were treated at Ohio State University Medical Center and released, said hospital spokesman Bob Fitzsimmons.

Three were treated for flu-like symptoms. The man had to be placed in a hyperbaric chamber, where he received a high concentration of oxygen to flush the carbon monoxide from his system, Fitzsimmons said.

The other three people were treated and released from Ohio State University Hospitals East, a nursing supervisor said.

A fourth person was admitted to the hospital, but was being treated for an ailment not related to the carbon monoxide, the nursing supervisor said.

She did not know if the people treated were patients or employees of the clinic.

Firefighters found extremely high levels of carbon monoxide inside the Chalmers P. Wylie Veterans Administration Clinic and evacuated the building on the city's east side just after 3 p.m.

They contained the leak about one hour later, and the building was closed while officials looked for a cause.

Ellis said the cause was likely a mechanical problem with one of the furnaces. A vent designed to pump the carbon monoxide from the building could have been sending the colorless, odorless gas back in.

``Until they find out exactly what caused the carbon monoxide leak, they don't want to take a chance of having any more problems there,'' he said.

Calls to the clinic Wednesday night went unanswered. A recording said the building would reopen at 8 a.m. Thursday and doctors could be reached at their homes until then.

Sources ( * indicates the original source) Source Details Media - Associated Press * 01-06-00 0031EST

-- (, January 06, 2000

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