Man dead, 8 taken to hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning

The man's wife and first responders were sickened, too.
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A man has died and his wife, along with emergency responders, were taken to the hospital after a carbon monoxide leak in west-central Minnesota.

Authorities were called to the home in rural Vergas in Otter Tail County on Monday evening when a woman came home and found her 67-year-old husband was not breathing.

The man could not be revived and was pronounced dead, a news release from the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office says.

But while at the scene, the man's wife and two Perham EMS workers showed signs of suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning and had to be airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center for treatment.

HCMC is equipped with a hyperbaric chamber, the Brainard Dispatch reports, which is needed to treat patients with carbon monoxide poisoning.

Two firefighters and two Sheriff's deputies also had to be treated at Perham Hospital for their exposure to the deadly gas, the sheriff's office said, and Perham Health told Valley News Live another Perham paramedic was treated for carbon monoxide exposure but didn't need to go to HCMC.

Those brought to the hospital in Perham were released around midnight.

Officials haven't said what could have caused the carbon monoxide leak, but the Minnesota Health Department has a guide on some of the most common sources of carbon monoxide in the home, which can include: gas heaters and stoves; power generators; fire places; and furnaces or boilers.

Around 500 people in the U.S. die each year from unintentional CO poisoning, which is hard to detect as it's odorless and early symptoms are similar to that of the flu, the agency says, noting that incidents of CO poisoning are often higher during the winter months.

CO poisoning was responsible for 59 deaths in Minnesota in the five years between 2010-2014, according to Minnesota Department of Health stats.

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