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22 February 2024

Gas leak at hotel sends 46 to hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba


Nearly four dozen people were taken to a hospital, at least 15 of them in critical condition, after carbon monoxide leaked inside a hotel in Winnipeg on Tuesday, but no fatalities were expected, officials said.

John Lane, chief of the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service, said emergency crews were called to the hotel when an automatic alarm showed there was carbon monoxide gas. He said the leak originated in the hotel’s boiler room.

Lane said 52 people, including staff, were at the hotel. Steve Brglez, acting platoon chief, said 15 of the patients were listed as critical because of high carbon monoxide readings in their blood.

“They were transported critical based on that reading and other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, a decrease in level consciousness,” he said. But, he added, “We don’t expect any fatalities from this.”

Some of the patients were expected to be released from hospitals within a few hours while other could be held overnight, Brglez said.

Justin Schinkel, the hotel’s owner, said it had recently passed a fire inspection and had never experienced a carbon monoxide leak before.

“We’re just super happy that the first responders are so helpful, and they’ve been able to get here so quick and help us out here,” he said.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, who was attending a meeting with other premiers and Indigenous leaders in Saskatchewan, said he was shocked to hear about the incident.

“To see this many people impacted by carbon monoxide poisoning — it’s unprecedented in my experience,” he said.