A faulty water heater flue pipe was blamed for a carbon monoxide leak that killed a restaurant manager and sent more than two dozen people to hospitals. The tragedy took place at Legal Sea Foods at the Walt Whitman Shops on Long Island.
According to ABC News (2.23.14), the ventilation systems circulated the poisonous odorless gas around the basement. A flue pipe that is working right will carry gas from the water heater to the outside. At Legal Sea Foods, the leaky pipe caused the gas to build up in the basement.
The carbon monoxide leak was discovered after authorities responded to a call about a woman who fell and hit her head in the restaurant’s basement. The gas made the rescue workers feel lightheaded and nauseated and this alerted them to the problem.
Nelson was unconscious in the basement and pronounced dead at a hospital. The carbon monoxide leak also sent 27 people to the hospital. All were restaurant employees, police or ambulance workers.
The carbon monoxide leak was said to be “a wakeup call for commercial businesses” to place monitors in all businesses. There were no carbon monoxide detectors in the building at the time of the accident. None were required.
Legal Sea Foods was issued a citation for violating town ordinances by having defective equipment.
Workers and poisonous gas accidents
Carbon monoxide has no odor, color or taste. People who are breathing in carbon monoxide cannot take in as much oxygen as they need. This can lead to serious tissue damage or death by suffocation.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, sources of carbon monoxide could include unvented gas space heaters, leaking furnaces or automobile exhaust in garages.
Carbon monoxide alarms will help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Work-related injuries and personal injury lawyers
A worker who is injured on the job should immediately contact a New York Workers’ Compensation lawyer to help assure that the facts of the accident are accurately understood. The Perecman Firm is aggressive and successful at helping protect a worker’s compensation rights. The Firm’s lawyers work diligently to see that injured workers and-or their families get the benefits they deserve.