13 hospitalized after carbon monoxide leak in Vancouver neighbourhood

Thirteen people were taken to hospital Wednesday morning after suffering from carbon monoxide exposure in a Vancouver dwelling.

According to B.C. Emergency Health Services, paramedics were called to the 1600-block of West 5th Avenue just before 10 a.m., where an individual had collapsed.

When paramedics arrived, their carbon monoxide detectors went off immediately, the agency said.

As others in the area began to show symptoms of CO exposure, five ambulances were called in to transport patients from three different dwelling units to hospital.

Two individuals are in critical condition, but the other 11 are in stable condition.

A Fortis B.C. technician traced the issue to a faulty boiler, which has been shut down and removed from the site.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas that is produced any time a carbon-based fuel such as gasoline, propane, charcoal or oil burns. When inhaled, it can reduce the body’s ability to carry oxygen in the blood, causing illness and even death.

In May of this year, two North Vancouver children lost consciousness while boating with their family in Indian Arm after gas from the vessel’s inboard engine compartment leaked into the cabin where the children where resting.

While the gas can be present in the home at any time of year, the risk is greater in winter months, when Canadian homes are heated.


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