Three hospitalized after carbon monoxide leak at Portland food bank

Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 6:30 AM EST
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PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) - Several people reported feeling sick after a gas leak at the Wayside Food Rescue Center in Portland Wednesday afternoon.

Crews were called to the facility on Walton Street due to a forklift malfunctioning inside the building, causing carbon monoxide levels to reach 500ppm, or roughly ten times the safe breathing limit.

Three people were taken to the hospital, with two of them having since been released. One person was said to be more seriously ill and vomiting, and is still in the hospital at this time. Another person was said to have mild symptoms, but was not taken to the hospital.

The building remains closed until the source of the leak is discovered. A planned food distribution event set for Thursday has been postponed.

Wayside Operations Manager Don Morrison told WMTW News 8 that the four people all got sick within a fifteen minute period, and that they were fortunate that a more serious medical incident didn’t occur.

“I do feel extremely lucky,” Morrison said. “The firemen told us we’re lucky that it didn’t happen when somebody was here working alone. Because that could have been tragic.”

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