4 airport workers fall ill at LAX from apparent gas leak



CNN

A terminal at Los Angeles International Airport has been cleaned and deemed safe after an apparent gas leak that sickened four people in Terminal 8, according to a tweet from the airport.

According to an update provided by the Los Angeles Fire Department on Monday, the four people injured in the incident were airport employees.

The condition of the most critically ill victim was upgraded from grave to critical early Monday.

A woman and three men were working in or near the utility room “when a popping noise was heard, and an apparent release of carbon dioxide vapor,” the LAFD report said.

A flood of carbon dioxide from the fire suppression system inside the underground utility room displaced all oxygen inside the area, LAFD Capt. Eric Scott said at a news conference.

The most seriously injured man, described as being in his 50s, was found inside the utility room not breathing and without a pulse. CPR was immediately performed and he was given advanced life support while emergency responders transported him to a nearby hospital, the fire department said in an incident report.

“The carbon dioxide displaced the oxygen in his bloodstream and he went into cardiac arrest,” Scott said of the man who was critically injured in the incident.

This appears to be an isolated incident, Scott said, adding that there was no explosion or fire.

The incident took place in Terminal 8 near the baggage area. The terminal was evacuated of passengers after the incident. The area reopened around 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT), according to a tweet from LAX Airport.

A Federal Aviation Administration ground stop was also removed to allow United Airlines to arrive, the airport said.

All other terminals and flights were operating normally, according to a tweet from LAX airport.

“Check your flight status directly with the airline for the best information,” the airport tweeted earlier Monday.

United told CNN it is “temporarily consolidating” its operations at Terminal 7 and contacting affected customers with new departure times and gate information.

Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Lori Dankers said earlier Monday that passengers passing through security bound for Terminal 8 were held after screening in Terminal 7.

Dankers said all TSA employees are fine, and the incident did not involve a TSA checkpoint.

CNN’s Marnie Hunter contributed to this report.

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