14 hospitalised for carbon monoxide poisoning on building site

The worker who collapsed on the pavement was taken to the Jacobi Medical Centre in New York City (Zoirusha/Public domain)
Fourteen people were hospitalised at a construction project in New Haven, Connecticut, after potentially fatal levels of carbon monoxide accumulated in a building undergoing renovation, AP reports

The cause of the poisoning was found to be a propane-fuelled saw that was being used to cut concrete without sufficient ventilation.

Emergency services were called to the Yale University Security centre after a worker collapsed on Wednesday.

He was found to have extremely high levels of carbon monoxide in his bloodstream.

The man was taken to Jacobi Medical Centre’s hyperbaric chamber in the Bronx, where he remains in a critical condition.

Responders returned to the site and found 13 other people were suffering from headaches.

They were taken to hospital and found to have elevated carbon monoxide levels. One worker was in a serious condition, four were discharged and another eight were admitted for treatment.

Rick Fontana, New Haven’s emergency operations director, commented: “There was a disaster averted here. You could have had a lot more sick or a lot more death had this gone on for a longer period of time.”

He added that the carbon monoxide concentration was 350 parts per million, or 10 times the permissible level.

 Of the 14 people who were hospitalised, nine were construction workers and five were members of Yale Security Department, which is located in the same facility.

Inhaling carbon monoxide fumes hinders the body from properly using oxygen and can harm organs, including the heart and brain.

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