Published: Mon, April 03, 2017
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

1 dead, 13 hospitalized after CO exposure

1 dead, 13 hospitalized after CO exposure

A malfunctioning pool heater at a Niles caused a carbon monoxide leak that killed a teenager and sent 11 others to the hospital, officials said.

One hotel worker at the Quality Inn and Suites in Niles, along with two Berrien County officers and two Niles city police officers were also treated for exposure to the poisonous gas. Hotel staff found the children lying unresponsive at an indoor pool deck.

Hotel staff members and police officers who responded to the emergency were also taken to area hospitals after being exposed to the toxic air.

Authorities have not released the name of the child who died.

Memorial Hospital of South Bend in IN is treating nine patients, eight children and one adult.

"All the responders took a little bit of a risk as they tried to pull the kids out", Wise said. However, responders were able to revive her at the scene. "I hope I never have one of these again", Wise said.

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Choice Hotels, which owns Quality Inn, said in a statement it is "working closely with local officials to manage the situation". One child, age unknown was reported dead on arrival.

Levels of 800 parts per million can cause someone to fall unconscious after about an hour, but someone may fall unconscious much quicker at higher levels.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that is produced when a fuel is burned. Wise said the pool area did not have a carbon monoxide detector.

The entire hotel had to be evacuated.

"At that level you only have minutes in there before you're going to have health affects", Wise said.

The hotel, which had 24 rooms occupied, has been shut down while authorities investigate and the broken heater is repaired.

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