24 Sickened, Some Pass Out, in Midtown Church Carbon Monoxide Chaos: Officials

What to Know

  • 24 people were sickened in a carbon monoxide incident in the basement of a church in Midtown Tuesday morning, officials say
  • Three of the victims had injuries that were described as serious; ultimately, all two dozen people hurt in the fray are expected to survive
  • Officials say the high carbon monoxide levels appeared to be caused by a malfunctioning stove ventilation hood motor in the community room

At least 24 people were sickened when a stove ventilation motor malfunctioned in the basement of a Midtown church Tuesday, sending carbon monoxide levels soaring so high people were passing out at the scene, officials said.

Three of the two dozen hurt in the chaos at St. Malachy's Church on 49th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue, were taken to hospitals with serious injuries, but all of the victims are expected to be OK, fire officials said.

Authorities say the high carbon monoxide levels appeared to be caused by a malfunctioning motor from the stove ventilation hood inside the church community room, where seniors gather every day for Meals on Wheels and activities. Sources say Encore Community Services rents out the basement. They provide meals and activities for seniors and typically feed 200 people a day.

Sources say that some of the employees and guests started feeling sick and some even passed out. The FDNY said it was venting the building.

NBC 4 New York was at the scene, which was flooded by FDNY personnel, police and first responders. A number of people could be seen on stretchers lining the sidewalk and inside an ambulance with oxygen masks being checked out and treated as police taped off the scene.

Part of 49th Street was shut down for a time as authorities investigated. 

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