One Dead in Mall Carbon Monoxide Leak

Long Island incident caused by piping problem: officials
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 23, 2014 5:01 PM CST
Fire personnel are seen at the Legal Seafoods at the Walt Whitman Mall, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014.   (AP Photo/Newsday, Steve Silverman)
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(Newser) – A carbon monoxide leak in a Long Island mall has left a restaurant manager dead and 27 others sick. Police found themselves dizzy and nauseous after responding to a call last night about an injured worker at the Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station. Authorities evacuated three restaurants, News 12 reports, but it was too late for Legal Seafoods manager Steven Nelson, 55, who was unconscious in the basement. He was pronounced dead in the hospital, MyFoxNY reports. Those sickened were mostly Legal Seafoods workers, but four ambulance workers and three police officers were also hospitalized. Their ailments weren't seen as life-threatening.

The source of the problem, officials say, was a flue pipe connected to the water heater. A heating-system inspection was due next month. "Right now, we are inspecting the heating system, and this incident seems to be confined to the basement area. It does not appear to have made it in the area of the restaurant where the customers were," a police spokesman tells the AP. Code didn't require carbon monoxide detectors at the restaurant, News 12 notes. (Read more carbon monoxide stories.)

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