A horrific mass poisoning at a resort has left at least 24 people sick, with 10 hospitalized and four in critical condition, police said.
Carbon monoxide leaked into a hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas on Saturday, leaving more than two dozen people injured, according to police.
Ten people were hospitalized and four had to be airlifted from Stonegate Lodge, according to officials.
The Eureka Springs Fire Department responded to a call from the hotel just before 7 a.m. Saturday, according to KY3.
The cause of the leak at Stonegate Lodge is still under investigation, but the fire marshal is working with Black Hills Energy to investigate.
Gary Inman, deputy chief of the Eureka Springs Fire Department, told KY3, “We’ve flown some patients [out].”
“Some devices have hyperbolic chambers that can clear the body of carbon monoxide faster than it would happen naturally,” he added.
Inman was shocked by this accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.
“This is very unusual because most gas-related systems are very safe and reliable.
“It’s nothing to mess around with and it can be very dangerous,” he said.
The lodge’s owner declined to speak to reporters on camera until the investigation is complete.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, at least 430 people die each year in the US from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.
Fifty thousand people in the United States visit emergency rooms each year for treatment after being accidentally poisoned.
Symptoms of poisoning include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion, according to the CDC.
The agency recommends that people take the following steps to prevent exposure to carbon monoxide in their home:
Get a carbon monoxide detector and replace its batteries every six months.
Remember to have your heating system, water heater and other gas oil or coal appliances serviced every year.
Ensuring your vents and flues are clear of debris is a must.
Remember to never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gas engine less than 20 feet from an open window or door, and never in a basement, garage, or other enclosed building, even if the door or window is open.
Finally, do not use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove indoors.