Los Angeles, CA (October 31, 2022) – One airport worker was hospitalized and three others are injured after a carbon dioxide leak occurred in LAX Terminal 8 on Monday morning. The leak, which happened in the baggage claim area, led to a brief evacuation by the Los Angeles Fire Department at around 7 AM.
According to the LAFD, the leak originated from a fire extinguisher system in an electrical utility room. Carbon dioxide is used to smother and quell fires. By filling a room with carbon dioxide, the system starves the fire of oxygen, causing it to go out. However, there are no indications that an explosion or fire took place in the room.
The four people who became sick were airport employees either in or near the utility room. One person heard a popping sound come from the room before the carbon dioxide vapor was released. Two men and one woman were treated for minor injuries due to exposure. The fourth victim, a male in his 50s, was found unconscious in the electrical utility room with no pulse. In a 10 AM press conference, LAFD Public Information Officer Captain Erik Scott said that the man suffered from a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital in grave condition. The man is now in critical condition and is able to breathe on his own.
Sources: LA Times, NBC Los Angeles
About Carbon Dioxide Poisoning
Carbon dioxide is a gas naturally found in the body due to cellular metabolism. At low concentrations, it has little to no toxic effect on the body. However, at higher concentrations in closed rooms, it displaces oxygen and acts as an asphyxiant. Excessive amounts of carbon dioxide can lead to increased breathing rate, arrhythmias, and loss of consciousness. If concentrations reach an excess of 10%, it can lead to coma or death. It is extremely dangerous to be in a room with high amounts of carbon dioxide.
In the case of carbon dioxide poisoning, it’s important to immediately remove the affected person from the toxic environment and administer oxygen. In very severe cases, assisted ventilation may be needed to help the victim breathe. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to detect carbon dioxide in a room since it has no odor and does not cause noticeable irritation. For this reason, if you have symptoms such as increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, dizziness, headache, shortness of breath, or excessive sweating, get out of the room, get outside, and call 911.
Our Attorneys Know the Dangers of Carbon Dioxide Poisoning
At Riley | Ersoff LLP, we understand the long-lasting effects that toxic substances have on the body. Carbon dioxide is just as dangerous as other types of harmful gasses and can lead to several conditions, such as seizures, cardiac arrest, and even death. If you believe you or a loved one has suffered carbon dioxide poisoning, get medical attention as soon as possible. Then, once you have been treated, contact our attorneys. With over 60 years of combined experience, we’ve recovered over $120 million for individuals and families affected by poisonings and other health hazards. To schedule a consultation, please call us at 866-478-1996 or fill out our online form. We proudly serve clients throughout California from our office in Beverly Hills.