Carbon monoxide leak: Hockey players were slow, lethargic

8:49 AM, Feb 8, 2011   |    comments
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  • Carbon monoxide sends more than 60 to the hospital
  • Officials say it happened around 2 p.m. Sunday at an ice rink in Gunnison.

    Randy Phelps, chief executive officer at Gunnison Valley Health, says eight people had serious amounts of carbon monoxide in their blood.

    He says six other people were being treated at Gunnison Valley Health. The rest of the victims were treated and released.

    Two victims were transported to Denver for hyperbaric chamber treatment, but have also been released.

    One of those treated was Lauren Johnson. Lauren's mother Judy said there was a heavy smell of fumes in the arena from the gas powered Zamboni.

    "Many of the girls were complaining of headaches and dizziness," Judy Johnson said. "A few of the moms actually asked the rink staff about the fumes and they said it always smells like this. Some of the moms were having headaches. We were talking about it. It didn't seem right for it to be this bad."

    What concerned her most were the players on the ice. She said it was like watching a game in slow motion.

    "We thought they gave up because they were losing," Johnson said. "But I have never seen a game where they were that slow and lethargic, both teams."

    There is no word on what may have caused the carbon monoxide leak. The ice arena is closed until further notice. The Gunnison Fire Department spent the day inspecting the ventilation system in the building.

    In 2009, Gov. Bill Ritter signed a law requiring all newly built homes and any home that is sold to have carbon monoxide detectors installed. It was passed after the Lofgren family died from carbon monoxide poisoning in Aspen. A University of Denver student, also named Lauren Johnson, died of carbon monoxide in her apartment. Neither home had detectors.

    (KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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