SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Suffolk officials confirm more than a dozen warehouse workers went to a local hospital Thursday afternoon, due to carbon monoxide poisoning. As of late Thursday, nine of those workers remained in the hospital, but were expected to be released soon.
Suffolk City spokeswoman Diana Klink said eight people were transported to Sentara Obici Hospital and five others went in their own vehicles. None of their injures are life-threatening, she said.
The workers were in an Ark Group building at 1010 Obici Industrial Boulevard. Klink said workers were operating a fork lift inside the building with all the doors closed, due to cold temperatures. Over the course of the day, the fumes built up, causing workers to feel effects of carbon monoxide.
The initial 911 call related to this incident came in around 2 p.m. and was for a person who had fainted and was unconscious. When the patient was assessed, first responders performed an air quality test and found that the further they went into the warehouse, the higher the levels of carbon monoxide.
“Emergency responders actually evacuated the facility,” Klink said. “And then the patients started complaining of headaches, dizziness, those types of symptoms.”
Ark Group owner, Paul Blount, was there as crews worked to clear the building. Blount said he rents the space out to several businesses in the area. He said he is not responsible for the various employees who are present in the building each day. He said he did not have information on steps that were or were not taken when the fork lift was operated without proper ventilation.
Norfolk Fire & Rescue crews ventilated the building. Klink said they will be back on Friday morning to check conditions.