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Carbon monoxide leak sends 13 to hospital in Vancouver

More than a dozen people were sent to hospital on Wednesday following a carbon monoxide leak in a Vancouver office building.

According to Emergency Health Services, paramedics were initially responding to a call for a single patient that had collapsed.

Upon arrival, the paramedics’ carbon monoxide monitors activated, alerting them to the potential of the deadly gas.

When that happened, they removed themselves from the building before alerting dispatch and other first responders.

In total, 13 people from the building, located in the 1600 block of West 5th Avenue, were sent to hospital.

Two of them are in critical condition.

“We do carry (carbon monoxide detectors). All paramedics in the province do have them, since 2017,” said BCEHS paramedic specialist Jodi Butterman.

“They’re critically important, they save lives, it’s very important that people put them in their houses, in their buildings, in their office buildings.”

Butterman said people can be exposed to the odourless, colourless gas from everyday objects like furnaces or wood stoves.

Scott Neufeld, a spokesman for FortisBC, says the energy company was called to the building around 10 a.m.

A company technician detected a problem with the boiler, which was causing the leak.

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