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3 sickened by carbon monoxide at food pantry in Portland

December 30, 2021 GMT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A forklift is being blamed for high carbon monoxide levels that sickened several people at the Wayside Food Programs pantry in Portland.

Three people were taken to a hospital after carbon monoxide levels rose to eight to 10 times the safe breathing limit Wednesday afternoon, officials said. All were treated and later released.

Don Morrison, Wayside’s operations manager, said he feels fortunate that the situation wasn’t worse.

“I do feel extremely lucky,” Morrison told WMTW-TV. “The firemen told us we’re lucky that it didn’t happen when somebody was here working alone. Because that could have been tragic.”

The building houses multiple tenants, including a coffee shop, but no other unit showed elevated levels of the gas.