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Fumes Sicken People at Ice Arena

Children, parents, instructors and staff fell ill from dangerous fumes, Bay News 9 reports.

Fumes at the  caused 23 children and adults to fall ill Wednesday evening, Bay News 9 said in an updated report this morning.

Largo Fire Chief Mike Wallace said that there were dangerously high amounts of carbon monoxide in the air at the arena, according to Channel 13 News:

"This may be a mechanical failure. This is a rare occurence," Wallace said in a TV interview. "There were lethal levels of carbon monoxide."

Largo Fire District Chief David Mixson told Bay News 9 that "upon arrival, they found carbon monoxide levels at 96 parts per million. That's elevated — nothing immediately dangerous to health and life — but that we needed to evacuate the building." 

Largo Fire investigators officially determined the levels were roughly 50 percent of the point OSHA considers dangerous, Bay News 9 reported.

More than 30 first responders reported to the scene. Wallace said a natural gas dehumidifier that keeps the ice rink cold is believed to be the cause of the high fume levels. Originally a malfunction of the Zamboni used to clear the ice was blamed for the fumes.

Officials reported 23 individuals received treatment outside the arena or at local hospitals. All victims were in stable condition or released as of Wednesday night, Bay News 9 reported.

The ice rink will not reopen to the public until the mechanical problem is fixed. The arena scheduled a repairman to fix the dehumidifier Thursday morning, Bay News 9 reported.

This story was originally reported Dec. 14 and was updated at 10:23 a.m. Dec. 15.

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