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Man Sent to Hospital After CO2 Poisoning

Created: 04/14/2014 12:33 PM KAALtv.com

(ABC 6 News) – A man was sent to the hospital after he was found unconscious in the basement of Rooster’s Barn & Grill in Rochester. 

Just before 10:00 Monday morning the Rochester Fire Department responded to a report of a man collapsed in the basement. Employees noticed a “hissing” sound coming from the basement of the bar. The carbon dioxide (CO2) system that puts the fizz into the carbonated beverages and powers the bar taps is housed in the basement and was said to be leaking. 

The employees tried to shut off the CO2 tanks but found they were having trouble breathing and turned around. One employee, 63 year old male, was overcome by the lack of oxygen and high level of CO2 and collapsed. 

Deputy Chief Belau says the patrons and other employees who became aware of the emergency, heroically tried to get into the basement and pull the victim out of the basement, but were turned back because they found they were unable to breathe. Firefighters placed the unresponsive man in the care of Gold Cross Ambulance who transported the man to Mayo Clinic Saint Mary’s Campus. No one else required medical care. 

The Fire Department went  back downstairs and shut off all the CO2 cylinders and vented out the area with power blowers until the oxygen levels were restored to a normal.  The business has been directed to have a technician inspect and repair the CO2 system.