Dozens head to hospital after ice rink carbon monoxide leak

Dozens head to hospital after ice rink carbon monoxide leak

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At least 38 people have presented to hospital following a carbon monoxide leak at an ice-skating rink in Adelaide’s west. 

Firefighters from the Metropolitan Fire Service attended Thebarton Ice Arena after 16 players from the Melbourne Ice women’s hockey team turned up at the Royal Adelaide Hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning.

They had played a match against Adelaide Rush at the venue yesterday afternoon.

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Two women were initially admitted to hospital showing symptoms of poisoning, prompting the hospital to send fire crews to the ice rink.

Testing undertaken this morning uncovered high levels of carbon monoxide and lower levels of hydrogen cyanide.

While the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning can be severe, fortunately, exposure was found to be mostly at a low level.

“Typically you get a headache, but you also might feel tired and dizzy, and sometimes a bit nauseous,” state Chief Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said.

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“When it gets into your blood system it attaches to your haemoglobin, it pushes off oxygen so it means it’s not easy for the body to carry oxygen around.”

The Metropolitan Fire Service believes the leak may be a result of an ice resurfacing machine, which has an internal combustion engine.

Ice Arena manager Richard Laidlaw said the venue had stopped using the machine.

“It’s immediately out of service. We have a back up machine as well so that will be put into service,” he said.

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Ice Hockey Australia said there was no formal requirement from the league for carbon monoxide detectors to be installed and it was up to each venue.

The women’s league today released a statement saying it was working towards ensuring games were only played in safe environments.

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