Source of gas fumes still a mystery - - Jackson, MS

Source of gas fumes still a mystery

By Cheryl Lasseter - bio | email | twitter

HINDS COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - Authorities are still trying to figure out the source of gas fumes at the Mississippi Department of Revenue that made about nine people sick Friday morning.

Close to 300 people were evacuated from the old warehouse that was made into office space years ago. It's South of Clinton on Spring Ridge Road.

AMR was first called to the scene around 8:30 for a report of difficulty breathing. Several more similar reports came a short time later.

Seven people were transported by ambulance to area hospitals. Two were taken by private vehicle. Most were treated and released.

Employees had been reporting gas fumes for about a week now.

"Just an odor in the building. Don't know what's going on," said employee Laura Wallace as she was leaving. "We've had gas fumes for 2-3 days, but I don't really know what it is."

Atmos Energy had found one gas leak at the Department of Revenue building earlier in the week, and it was repaired.

"We have had the gas company out here every week. There have been no measurable levels of carbon monoxide or any other (substance) in the air or on their meters. Nothing has registered, but we did have several people have problems this morning," said Kathy Waterbury, Department of Revenue Spokesperson.

Despite the fumes that had been picked up by the Raymond Fire Department as soon as they entered the building on the north side, no gas leak had been detected as of Friday afternoon.

"You can have that odor, and the gas is not there," says Raymond Fire Department Assistant Chief Joey Jamison. "There was a leak inside the building on Tuesday, gas company came out and fixed the leak. But there was an odor of gas (Friday morning). Not necessarily the gas itself, but there was an odor."

Employees have been given a number to call late Monday or early Tuesday to find out when they can report back to work. 

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