Wisconsin ice rink closed after gas leak sickens more than 80 people

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 15, 2014 11:13 AM

By Brendan O'Brien

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - An ice rink in a central Wisconsin town was closed on Monday after at least 81 people at a weekend minor league hockey game were sickened by a gas leak thought to have been caused by faulty ice resurfacing machines, authorities said.

Paramedics were called to a hockey game on Saturday between the Dells Ducks and the Rochester Ice Hawks at an arena in Lake Delton, Wisconsin, after one player fainted and several others had symptoms including nausea, headaches and dizziness, the Lake Delton Fire Department said in a statement.

Fire department officials said when they arrived at the Poppy Waterman Ice Rink, they determined there was a high level of carbon monoxide inside the building.

A technician will be conducting a full inspection of the arena's two ice resurfacers on Monday, officials at the ice rink said on its website.

The player who fainted was receiving oxygen therapy in a hyperbaric chamber at a Milwaukee hospital, Ducks head coach Bill Zaniboni told the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. None of the other cases of gas exposure appeared to be severe, reports said.

Hospitals in the area treated 81 people for symptoms related to the incident, the fire department said.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Exposure to the gas can cause dizziness, nausea, headaches, vomiting and fainting and can be fatal, according to the CDC.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Jon Herskovitz and Bill Trott)