80 People Affected by Ice Rink Gas Leak in Wisconsin
More than 80 people suffered carbon monoxide poisoning after a gas leak released dangerous fumes into an ice rink facility, news sources report. Authorities believe that a defective ice resurfacing machine caused the incident.
The leak occurred during a hockey game between the Dells Ducks and Rochester ice Hawks in a Delton ice rink.
Emergency services were called after one player fainted and others manifested symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Fire department officials stated that there were high carbon monoxide levels in the building.
The Lake Delton Fire Chief stated that the resurfacing machine "wasn't fully combusting the propane." The problem was compounded when the ventilation system failed to eliminate dangerous fumes.
According to the fire officials, both resurfacing machines in the building passed safety inspections earlier this year. Additionally, state regulations do not require the ice rink to have a carbon monoxide detector on the premises.
Regardless of state law, the local fire chief stated that carbon monoxide detectors are a good idea in "…any space that people occupy where there is a fuel-burning appliance." He said, "It's great to have as many detectors as possible."
A man and his three-year-old son were among those who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms. After spending the night in the hospital with his son, the man said "…whatever needs to change to make it a safer environment…health is the most important thing."
Head coach of the Ice Hawks indicated that his players showed symptoms as early as the day before the game. "I feel like this was a very avoidable situation," he said.
Shortly before the game on Saturday, the coach noted that "other players were complaining of headaches and not feeling [like] themselves." Several players were unable to finish the game because they were so ill.