Carbon monoxide poisoning injured nine workers at a construction site in Midtown Manhattan last month. According to ABC 7 New York, the FDNY responded to a call at a high-rise residential development in Flatiron when several workers complained of feeling dizzy. When the firefighters arrived, the level of carbon monoxide at the construction site tested around 750 parts-per-a-million. According to the news agency, carbon monoxide is “dangerous” at 10 parts-per-a-million. The entire site was quickly evacuated.
All workers at the site immediately sought medical care and nine were admitted into the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. According to the FDNY, workers were pouring the foundation in a 60 square-foot-area. “It is very difficult to ventilate because there’s only a very small area to enter into the confined space. While the names and injuries suffered by the workers have not been released, witnesses at the scene reported seeing multiple construction workers carried off in stretchers. “We were able to begin IV treatment, cardiac monitoring while our peers on the fire side did all the heavy lifting of pulling them out,” EMS Deputy Chief Kathleen Knuth told ABC’s local affiliate.
The source of the carbon monoxide is still under investigation, according to the EMS and FDNY. One theory involves an underground gas-powered generator. NBC New York reports that the gasoline-powered generator used at the site was running in too small and confined of a space. The generator was used to help pour concrete for the foundation. Another possible source could be a carbon monoxide leak from a neighboring building. Until the source of the carbon monoxide is identified, the Department of Buildings has issued a Full Stop Work Order for the site.
The local regulator also issued a citation to the general contractor for failing to safeguard the site.