A carbon monoxide leak at a Kohl’s store in Pennsylvania left at least 15 people needing hospital treatment, according to local reports.
The incident happened at the shop in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, last week and is believed to have involved workers.
One employee is said to have become “overcome and unresponsive” as a result of the poisoning, Penn Live reports.
A total of 28 people are reported to have been checked over by health officials.
It is thought the leak was a result of overnight construction work at the store. The store was closed as a result.
A Kohl’s spokesperson told The Sun: “Kohl’s prides itself on providing a safe working environment for all of our associates, and we are working with local authorities to investigate the environment in the area of the store that is under construction.”
They added: “We offered immediate medical support and testing to our associates. No customers were affected.”
The Sun contacted Chambersburg fire department for comment.
A spokesman said at the time: “Penn State Health EMS department responded to 955 Norland Avenue, Kohls, for the report of an unconscious patient.
“While conducting the search, firefighters encountered carbon monoxide throughout the entire occupancy with levels exceeding 280 parts per million in most portions.
“The cause of the carbon monoxide was improper use of propane powered construction equipment that was being utilized overnight and into the morning for remodeling and lack of proper ventilation.”
If inhaled, the gas can quickly enter a person’s bloodstream, making it unable to carry oxygen. The body’s cells and tissue then begin to fail and eventually die.
Although the poisoning is treatable, between 10 and 15 percent of people affected develop long-term complications of some description.
Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, coal and wood don’t burn fully.
Cigarette smoke, burning charcoal and car engines also produce CO gas.
The risk of being affected at home is increased if you live in a caravan, boat or mobile home.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide are similar to flu, although it doesn’t cause a high temperature.
Within two hours of a leak, an adult could lose balance, vision and memory – and eventually, pass out.
More than a dozen people were poisoned by carbon monoxide at a Long Island summer camp after they complained of feeling sick and dizzy.
Emergency services raced to the scene at the Chabad of Great Neck just after 6:00 am on Tuesday morning.