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Public housing residents evacuated over carbon monoxide risk

January 4, 2020 GMT

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Hundreds of people have been relocated from a North Carolina public housing community over ongoing concerns about carbon monoxide.

The Durham Housing Authority said in a statement Friday night that it was conducting an “immediate emergency relocation” of all McDougald Terrace residents to hotels after “several” residents were treated for elevated carbon monoxide levels.

“The safety of our residents is our top priority, and we are taking immediate action to relocate everyone impacted while working with a cross-functional response team to stabilize the units as quickly as possible,” the authority’s CEO Anthony Scott said in a statement.

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The authority said each building would be inspected and cleared of any carbon monoxide risk. Residents would be provided a daily per diem for food and that transportation to the hotels was being coordinated.

The Herald-Sun reported that the move came after a tense meeting earlier in the week during which residents accused the authority of ignoring unsafe living conditions.

One emergency medical services official said at that meeting that the county can’t rule out carbon monoxide in the recent deaths of two infants at the complex.

The housing authority said it would provide further updates about the situation on Saturday.