23 People taken to hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning

Members of the Tampa Bay Junior Lightning youth hockey team had to be evacuated from their rink Wednesday night after players became ill and dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide were detected in the building.

Largo Fire Rescue crews were called to the Clearwater Ice Arena around 6:30 Wednesday evening and arrived to find a numerous kids with symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

In all, 23 people had to be treated, 4 of the most seriously ill were transported to local hospitals.

“It made you very tired and shaky and my stomach hurt. It gave us all headaches and stuff like that,” said 9-year-old Conrad Burdette.

Conrad’s mother says her son tapped on the glass to tell her he was tired, and moments later she says players started dropping.

The team’s goalie and other players who suffer from asthma got the most sick, but after breathing oxygen for several minutes all of the children were expected to be okay.

It’s unclear what caused the carbon monoxide levels to jump dangerously high. Many suspect the Zamboni which has been known to cause similar problems at other rinks across the county.

But investigators say another machine, the building’s dehumidifier is also suspected, because when the machine which helps keep the building from fogging up was turned off, carbon monoxide levels immediately began to drop.

Fire investigators say they’re not sure if the building was equipped with a carbon monoxide detector, but players say they heard no alarm and didn’t know anything was wrong until it was almost too late.

Fire officials have cut off gas to the building until they can pinpoint the cause of the problem and make sure it is corrected.

Source: 10 News