14 People Hospitalized After Visiting a Watford City Laundromat - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

14 People Hospitalized After Visiting a Watford City Laundromat

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As of four o'clock Sunday afternoon, 14 people had been hospitalized after visiting a Watford City laundromat. 

The state health department says just before noon police and EMS responded to a call that an 18-year-old woman had passed out at Expressway Laundry. She was taken to the hospital, and a while later other customers were taken to the hospital from the same laundromat with, all with similar symptoms. The fire department was called to the scene, as well as MDU, the health department's Environmental Response Team and a helicopter life-flight service. 

"The fire department did its search in the building and they found in one room, the boiler room, where an exhaust pipe was dislodged. And so the exhaust was venting into the laundromat," says McKenzie County Emergency Management member, Jerry Samuelson.

Health department employees say people who work in the oil fields often clean their clothes with a graffiti de-greaser and a bleach cocktail, and that combination could have caused people to become sick as well. 

The laundromat was cordoned off and the gas line was shut off from the building. The business will remain closed until a full investigation is complete. None of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening.

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