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Carbon monoxide leak sends 37 workers to hospital

Jan. 23, 2013, Miramichi, N.B. – A health official says 37 workers were brought to a hospital in northern New Brunswick early Wednesday to be treated for exposure to carbon monoxide, with all but four being released later in the day.

January 23, 2013
By The Canadian Press

Jan. 23, 2013, Miramichi, N.B. – A health official says 37 workers were brought to a hospital in northern New Brunswick early Wednesday to be treated for exposure to carbon monoxide, with all but four being released later in the day.

Lisa Caissie of Horizon Health Network said she can't reveal the condition of the four still being treated at the Miramichi Regional Hospital emergency department.

Fidel Cormier of WorkSafeNB said the workers were transported to hospital after one person collapsed and others complained of feeling ill at an industrial fabrication plant.

He said officials with the Crown agency responsible for workplace safety had just started their investigation, but were looking at the possibility that an odour noticed at the facility is linked to carbon monoxide or propane exposure.

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Cormier said the workers detected the smell at Sunny Corner Enterprises in Miramichi and called police.

Const. Todd Chadwick of the Miramichi Police Force said the man who collapsed had regained consciousness by the time police arrived, but officers noticed a suspicious smell and the building was evacuated.

He said some of the workers were complaining of headache, nausea and difficulty breathing.

"When the police arrived, the person who had passed out had regained consciousness and was on a chair outside with other employees," Chadwick added.

"Police noticed right away there was an odour in the air – a suspicious odour – and requested that the building be evacuated immediately."

Police and fire crews were unable to find the source of the odour but have determined the site is not a danger to the public, he said.

Chadwick said Sunny Corner Enterprises manufactures industrial equipment.