Gas leak sends 2 people to hospital

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SALT LAKE CITY — Investigators now know what caused a refrigerant leak inside a restaurant at the Gateway Mall Wednesday night.

Investigators say the leak at Rumbi's Island Grill, 171 S. Rio Grande Street, was caused by a malfunction in the CO2 system.

Salt Lake City Fire Battalion Chief Michael Andrew said, "Employees were going into the refrigerator area and noticed what appeared to be a plume of gas."

Andrew said employees initially thought it was a natural gas leak. The refrigerant turned out to be R22, an ozone-depleting substance which is actually being phased out.

"It's a compressed gas and it's obviously less dangerous than the potential for natural gas," Andrew said.

He said a restaurant employee and a security guard were taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure, over respiratory concerns. They are expected to be OK.

The leak forced a number of nearby restaurants to evacuate briefly.


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