There was understandable panic when an automatic alarm went off indicating presence of high levels of Carbon Monoxide in the air. Out of fifty-two people in the Winnipeg hotel, hospitalization was necessary for forty-six. They had varying degrees of affliction - fifteen of them were critical with five more unstable. Condition of others was stable. The gas service provider immediately disconnected gas supply to the building and is trying to establish the reason for such a situation. Its source was in the boiler room.

USA Today reports Manitoba Hydro is the gas utility service that provides electricity and gas throughout the Canadian province.

It is examining probable reasons for the sudden increase of carbon monoxide levels in the hotel. The company disconnected gas supply to the hotel and initiated the ventilation process. It clarified that it was not a “gas leak” but carbon monoxide poisoning. The utility explained that natural gas is easy to detect because of its unique smell. However, this gas is odorless. This is the importance of installing a CO alarm.

Effects of the carbon monoxide leak

Manitoba Hydro clarified that it is a byproduct of incomplete combustion apart from improper ventilation of various domestic appliances.

These could be gas stoves, propane barbecues, and even clothes dryers. During preliminary investigation, the fire service crew detected the presence of the gas throughout the hotel. The level was in the range of up to 385 parts per million against normal levels of around 0-2 parts per million. The levels were undoubtedly on the higher side.

A bulletin from the office of the Fire Commissioner, Manitoba, indicates ill-effects to such levels of exposure. It could give rise to uneasiness in the form of headaches, fatigue, dizziness and nausea after a few hours.

USA Today says the authorities of the hotel have apologized to the occupants and reassured that the "safety of our guests and hotel teams is extremely important." They have also expressed gratitude to the emergency responders and said the hotel would reopen shortly.

It was a panic situation

According to Sky News, the incident of leakage of carbon monoxide at a hotel in canada led to a panic situation. An automatic alarm alerted the hotel staff and out of 46 people hospitalized, the condition of at least 15 was critical. An official of the Winnipeg firefighters' union told a section of the media that it was "one of the worst incidents" for carbon monoxide. He added that firefighters were "absolutely in shock". Their prompt action helped saved many lives. The owner of the hotel revealed that the building had recently passed a fire inspection. It does not also have any history of such leaks. Since the gas is odorless, there must be detectors to warn people about potential dangers. An investigation into this incident should identify shortcomings and help to define future policies.