At least 20 people, including 16 children, have been hospitalised after a suspected carbon monoxide poisoning at an ice-skating rink located in Adelaide’s west.
The patients — ages ranging from 17 to early 40s — were reported to have attended a hockey match at Therbarton’s Ice Arena on Saturday night, while others were at the rink for a general public skate session, ABC News reports. Per the national broadcaster, a number of hockey players went to hospital after complaints of feeling unwell.
According to Chief Public Health Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier, 16 people were admitted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital the following morning, but have since been discharged. However, several others who went to the hospital at about 7am on Sunday with similar symptoms are still being assessed.
“There were a range of symptoms but mostly the level of carboxyhemoglobin in people’s blood was fairly low,” Professor Spurrier said, per the national broadcaster.
“We know that giving people oxygen clears the toxin more quickly and so some people did receive oxygen.”
Speaking to ABC News, Ice Arena manager Richard Laidlaw believed the fumes could’ve come from a Zamboni — a machine that is used to resurface the ice.
“The exhaust of the Zamboni operates on LPG gas, that of course is coming out of service and we have a backup Zamboni in place,” Laidlaw said.
“They seem to have isolated it a little bit to the dressing room that the [hockey] team were using, and that also has an exhaust fan system that goes out into the car park of the rink.”
However, in a statement to 9News, a spokesperson from the Metropolitan Fire Service said that they believe a dehumidifier and the Zamboni could both be the cause for the suspected poisonings, but investigations are currently ongoing.
“They’ve determined two pieces of machinery that could potentially have caused the hazardous situation,” they said.
“They have isolated the machinery and are testing to see if that’s the cause.”
Anyone who was present at the Ice Arena on Saturday night who is experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning — which includes headaches, tiredness and nausea — is urged to seek medical attention.
Image source: 9News