NJ Courthouse Closed Again After Toxic Odor Sickens More People

Last Friday, 17 people were sickened and on Monday, another 65 felt ill

By Brian Thompson
|  Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012  |  Updated 10:01 AM EDT
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More People Sickened at NJ Courthouse

A decontamination tent is set up outside the hospital in Freehold, N.J.

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A New Jersey courthouse was evacuated for a second time after more people were overcome with nausea, dizziness and rashes days after other workers had similar symptoms, officials said.

The courts were closed Tuesday as a result of the mysterious sickness.

About 65 people at the Monmouth County Courthouse were affected Monday, according to county spokesman Bill Heine. Twenty-five were taken to the hospital, then released; 40 were treated on the scene.

On Friday, 17 people suffered similar symptoms at the courthouse.

In both cases, officials said people described smelling a sweet odor.

The affected people on Monday were taken CentraState Medical Center in Freehold, N.J., where a spokesman said a decontamination tent had been set up outside. All the patients were expected to go through the decontamination process, he said.

Dr. Michael Jones, chairman of emergency medicine at CentraState, called it an "all hands on deck" disaster response.

The cause on Friday was believed to be cut flowers, but officials said Monday they no longer believe the flowers were the source of the odor.

Tests for volatile chemical compounds at the courthouse all were negative, officials said. 

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