Part of Exeter Hospital evacuated over odor; 20 people treated

Laura Christensen
August 12, 2017

Emergency officials said they investigated reports of an unknown odor in the facility.

Aerial footage from the scene showed more than a dozen people in beds set up in a cordoned-off area of the lawn across the parking lot from the hospital.

The operating room and emergency room have been closed and sealed, and the odor is now being investigated. The fire department said it may have been caused by a carbon dioxide or anesthesia chemical leak.

Between 8:30 a.m. and noon, 19 staff members from the operating room complained of dizziness and nausea, Vasapolli said.

Numerous ambulances responded to Exeter Hospital where patients were triaged in the parking lot outside the emergency room
Numerous ambulances responded to Exeter Hospital where patients were triaged in the parking lot outside the emergency room. Credit Todd Bookman NHPR

The cause was not immediately known, she said. About 40 patients and some staff experienced flu-like symptoms after the odor was reported, the source of which remains a mystery, according to the Boston Globe.

"We are working with the local fire and police departments and we're now transferring patients", she said shortly before 12:30 p.m. "In an abundance of caution. we evacuated the O.R".

Debra Vasapolli, a hospital spokesperson, says most of those receiving treatment displayed minor symptoms.

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