Los Angeles, CA – Five people, including a pregnant woman, were recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning Saturday caused by work to remove a sewage clog in a poorly ventilated business in downtown Los Angeles.
Firefighters were called to the scene at 9:27 p.m. Friday at 2031 Bay St., near Santa Fe Avenue, where the workers had started a gas-powered plumbing snake to remove the clog, said Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The use of the plumbing snake created fumes that were inhaled by the employees, he said.
Firefighters secured the area and used a specialized gas meter to test the air, which alerted firefighters that carbon monoxide was in the immediate area, Scott said.
Firefighters then used electric blowers to ventilate the building and began medically assessing the patients.
Only one worker, a 20-year-old woman who is two months pregnant, needed to be taken to a hospital because she was in mild distress, Scott said.
We ask you to please remind others that carbon monoxide is an invisible killer, Scott said. It is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels, such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane, burn incompletely.
It is important to have functional carbon monoxide alarms. If they alarm, immediately move to fresh air, open doors and windows and call 911 if medial symptoms arise.