LAFD responds to carbon monoxide fumes that sickened 4 employees at LAX terminal
EMS providers began resuscitating and transported a man who was found not breathing and without a pulse
San Gabriel Valley Tribune
LOS ANGELES — Four workers at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday morning, Oct. 31, were sickened when equipment in a utility room malfunctioned, releasing carbon dioxide — sending one to a hospital in grave condition and leading fire officials to evacuate Terminal 8.
At around 7 a.m. the four were inside the utility room "when a popping sound was heard, and the apparent release of carbon dioxide vapor took place," Brian Humphrey, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department, said in a statement.
One worker, a man in his 50s, "was found pulseless and non-breathing inside the utility room," Humphrey said.
Paramedics attempted CPR on him at the airport, then took him to a hospital, where his condition improved. The other three workers were described by authorities to be in "mild distress" after the gas release, and since then were treated at the scene and not hospitalized.
The utility room where the gas release occurred is in the baggage area. LAFD sent those inside to Terminal 7.
The terminal re-opened before 10:30 a.m.
Flights with United Airlines were delayed, but the airport said on Twitter that any United flights already in the air headed to LAX could land. Any more flights still waiting to depart from other airports were going to be allowed to do so after 10 a.m.
But United flights from Terminal 8 at LAX were still grounded while the hazardous-materials team's response continued.
Fire officials said the carbon dioxide was from a fire-suppression system. Three of those workers, who are independent contractors, escaped the room quickly enough but the fourth victim was overcome.
Fire officials credited Airport Police for quickly responding and administering CPR to the overcome worker, who was initially in full cardiac arrest but is now breathing at a hospital.
City News Service contributed to this report.
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