Seven Walmart shoppers had to be hospitalized late Tuesday after an “odorless gas” escaped into the South Carolina store and made them ill, reports WHNS.
It happened about 11:30 p.m. at the Greenville store on White Horse Road, which had to be evacuated by deputies and firefighters, the station reported.
Origins of the gas leak were conflicting, with the Greenville News reporting the cause remained was unknown.
Reports of illness among shoppers started not long after cleaning staff began “stripping floors” in the store, a process that involved a propane tank, reported TV station WYFF.
The gas found its way into the ventilation system, which quickly distributed a high level of carbon monoxide into multiple store departments, the station reported.
TV station WSPA is reporting the leak originated in the automotive section, “causing people to cough.”
The conditions of the seven shoppers were not available, said WSPA
Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of propane use, and it can be fatal to humans and animals, reports Propane101.com. More than 4,000 Americans are hospitalized each year due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning and 400 die, reports Medical News Today.
Symptoms of poisoning include blurry vision, loss of balance, confusion and passing out, the site reports.