Carbon Monoxide Leak at Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina Leads to Poisoning Injuries, Evacuation
SouthPark Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina had to be evacuated last night due to a carbon monoxide leak, which caused toxic fumes to build up in the mall and resulted in at least four people being hospitalized.
The Charlotte Fire Department indicates that it received a call about carbon monoxide in the mall at about 9:00 p.m. last night.
About 40 firefighters responded to the call, evacuating the Charlotte mall and monitoring carbon monoxide levels.
There is no information currently available about the cause of the leak or the status of the individuals who may have suffered carbon monoxide poisoning at the mall, according to reports from the Associated Press.
Carbon monoxide is a significantly toxic gas that is colorless, odorless and has no irritating factors that can allow someone to detect its presence.
As a result of difficulty recognizing the gas leaking, many people fail to promptly recognize symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, which typically start with lightheadedness or a headache.
As a result of prolonged exposure, individuals face a risk of brain damage from carbon monoxide gas, and in severe cases a leak may result in loss of consciousness or death.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, carbon monoxide poisoning kills about 500 people in the U.S. annually, and is linked to about 15,000 emergency room visits. In many cases, the injuries or deaths could have been prevented by the use of carbon monoxide detectors and proper maintenance of heating systems and generators.
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