Bakersfield, CA – KGET TV – Doctors have released more information on the illness that sent several packing plant workers in Tulare County to the hospital on Thursday.
Dozens of workers at the Monarch Packing Plant were packing blueberries when some of them became so sick, they were sent to the Delano Clinic.
Three of the workers were sent to the hospital on Thursday and more arrived to the hospital Friday.
Doctors say the workers were exposed to Carbon Monoxide. The gas does not have a smell, a taste and cannot be easily detected.
Managers at the plant said the problem started in the morning, when three workers complained of feeling sick, like they had the flu.
By three o’clock several others started to complain of headaches. Five were seen at the clinic, and then at the hospital, where they were treated and released. Four others went to the hospital the next day, they were treated and released.
Hilda Beltran of the Delano Regional Medical Center said, Nausea, light headedness, headaches, and basically those were the common symptoms they were experiencing.
Monarch Nut Company Controller Cliff Woolle said, we determined it was probably some exposure to a forklift that shouldn’t have been inside the building. Inside that building it should be electric.
Company management said they will do all it can to prevent any incidents like Thursdays from ever happening again.
We’ve talked to any of the truck drivers in that round to be sure they turn off their engines, Woolle said. Also we’ve talked to the fork lift drivers to reinforce the company policy that it’s only electric fork lift that are allowed inside the building.
Managers have also informed employees about Carbon Monoxide exposure, and will be installing Carbon Monoxide detectors.