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A huge case of carbon monoxide poisoning forces the evacuation of an Ogden business park Thursday afternoon. The levels of the deadly gas reached 20 times higher than what is deemed safe, and dozens have been taken to the hospital.
The carbon monoxide levels inside the plant Elkay West plant, at 551 W. Deport Dr., were described as being lethally high.
30 people inside the plant needed immediate attention, 7 of them had such high levels of carbon monoxide in their blood they had to be taken to a hospital in Salt Lake City to be treated in a hyperbaric chamber.
14 others with minor symptoms were taken by bus to the hospital.
Workers began feeling sick. "They had symptoms ranging from nausea, vomiting to headaches, and that generally was the symptoms. No one was experiencing unconsciousness, or fainting, anything of that sort," said Ogden City Battalion Chief Steve Splinter.
The plant, which manufactures stainless steel sinks, was evacuated.
The fire department says when the crews went in, the initial readings of carbon monoxide were extremely high, between 260 and 300 parts per million. Anything over 35 is concerning, and levels over 100 parts per million is considered lethal.
Authorities are now investigating and say finding the source could be challenging because the warehouse is so big, and there is a lot of equipment.
Ogden Fire Deputy Chief Chad Tucker said, "In a processing manufacturing, processing plant like this, you have various heaters and metal benders that take heat as well, or anything like that. Every one of those pieces of equipment is going to have to be checked to see if they were the cause of the carbon monoxide. "
The fire department went into the plant, opened all of the doors and windows to ventilate it.
Questar was here and shut off all of the utilities.
Considering the levels, the employees are lucky to be alive.
Ogden City has an ordinance that requires carbon monoxide detectors in the home, but that code does not apply to commercial structures like this plant.
The fire department says the reasoning behind that is the number of people inside and what they are doing. Tucker said, "In a residence you may have one person in a home during the day that is awake and may start to feel ill but just think it's just them feeling ill. And when they go to sleep, they would not be able to smell that or know that there is a problem."