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4 workers sickened by gas leak at Los Angeles airport


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Four workers were sickened, including one critically, by a release of carbon dioxide in a Los Angeles International Airport utility room early Monday, authorities said.

A man in his 50s was initially in grave condition but was upgraded to critical on arrival at a hospital, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesperson Brian Humphrey said in a statement. Two men and a woman were treated at the scene for minor complaints.

The gas release was initially reported in the Terminal 8 baggage area but was later determined to be in a utility room about 200 feet (61 meters) away, Humphrey said.

No travelers were directly affected by the release, but airport officials moved about 100 people to neighboring Terminal 7.

The terminal serves United Airlines and United Express, according to the airport website.

All the workers affected were in or near the utility room when a popping sound was heard and the apparent release of carbon dioxide vapor occurred, according to Humphrey.

The most seriously injured worker was found “pulseless and non-breathing” inside the utility room and was provided CPR and advanced life support by paramedics, Humphrey said.

“LAFD Hazardous Materials experts have closely examined the area with sophisticated instruments, and discovered only trace residue of carbon dioxide remaining within the utility room,” Humphrey’s statement said. “No escalating or off-site hazard was identified.”


This story has been updated to correct the location of the carbon dioxide release to a utility room, based on updated information from authorities.

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