One Dead, Over Two Dozen Ill in New York CO Leak

Carbon monoxide leak claims a restaurant manager in Suffolk County

 

 
 
 

| Monday, February 24, 2014


HUNTINGTON STATION, N.Y. (AP) — A faulty water heater flue pipe caused the carbon monoxide leak that killed a New York restaurant manager and sent more than two dozen people to hospitals, a fire official said Sunday.

Huntington Chief Fire Marshal Terence McNally said the fumes were circulated in the basement by the ventilation systems at the Legal Sea Foods restaurant at the Walt Whitman Shops on Long Island.

Restaurant manager Steven Nelson was found unresponsive in the basement on Saturday night and pronounced dead at a hospital.

Roger Berkowitz, president and CEO of Legal Sea Foods, said Nelson, 55, of Copiague, had worked for the restaurant for three years and had two sons.

"It's a shock, he was a great guy, we consider ourselves a family," Berkowitz said, adding that other employees were "traumatized."

Berkowitz said the carbon monoxide leak was "a wakeup call for commercial businesses" and that monitors should be in all businesses.

Authorities initially went to the restaurant after receiving a call about a woman who had fallen and hit her head in the basement. Rescue workers who arrived at the scene started to feel lightheaded and nauseated and suspected a carbon monoxide leak, officials said.

The restaurant was evacuated and 27 people were treated at hospitals. All of those impacted by the fumes were restaurant employees, police or ambulance workers.

The building was not required to have carbon monoxide detectors, and there were none, McNally said.

Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless and can lead to death by suffocation.

Police said a coroner would officially determine Nelson's cause of death. Autopsy information was not immediately available Sunday.

No problems had been found when the restaurant was inspected last March, and another inspection was scheduled for next month, McNally said.

The Walt Whitman Shops, located about 35 miles east of New York City, has more than 80 stores, including Bloomingdale's, Lord & Taylor, Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue. The restaurant is in a separate structure from the main group of stores, in a block with The Cheesecake Factory and Panera Bread. Both restaurants were evacuated as a precaution, and The Cheesecake Factory was open as usual on Sunday.

Gas lines to Panera Bread and Legal Sea Food had been shut off, McNally said, with Panera likely to get gas back Monday morning. Legal Sea Foods, which was issued a citation for violating town ordinances by having defective equipment, will have to show officials that the water heaters have been repaired before it can re-open, he said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Mobile Category: 
News


Related Links:


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, carbon monoxide poisoning, carbon monoxide

 
What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Maryland Pool Chemical Leak Sends 35 Campers to Hospitals

Patients transported to four area hospitals.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Pennsylvania Ambulance Catches Fire

Investigators look into cause of fire.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Stolen Florida Ambulance Back in Service

Rig was stolen from outside of ER.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Ambulance Service Returns to Illinois City

Fire district picks up after ATS Medical Services.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On July 2014

Check out the latest products and innovations in JEMS.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Wounded Veteran Resiliency

Marine is one of many in quality of life study.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

National EMS Memorial Bike Ride 2014

Over 50 riders honor those killed in the line of duty in 2013.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >