4 airport workers fall ill at LAX from apparent gas leak


A terminal at Los Angeles International Airport has been evacuated and deemed safe after a gas leak in Terminal 8 sickened four people, the airport said in a tweet.

All four injured in Monday’s incident were airport workers, according to an update provided by the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The condition of the most critically ill victim was upgraded to critical early Monday.

A woman and three men were working in or near a utility room when “a loud noise was heard and an apparent release of carbon dioxide vapors,” an LAFD report said.

A flood of carbon dioxide from a fire suppression system inside an underground utility room displaced all oxygen in the area, LAFD Capt. Eric Scott said at a news conference.

The most seriously injured man, described as being in his 50s, was found not breathing and without a pulse in the utility room. Emergency responders immediately performed CPR and administered advanced life support as he was taken to a nearby hospital, the fire department said in an incident report.

“The carbon dioxide displaced the oxygen in his bloodstream and he went into cardiac arrest,” Scott said of the man who was critically injured in the incident.

While this appears to be an isolated incident, there was no explosion or fire, Scott added.

The incident took place in Terminal 8 near the baggage claim area. The terminal has been evacuated from passengers following the incident. According to a tweet from LAX airport, the area reopened around 1 p.m. (10 a.m. PT).

A stop at Federal Aviation Administration land has also been cleared for arriving United Airlines, the airport said.

All other terminals and flights were operating as normal, according to a tweet from LAX airport.

“Check your flight status directly with the airline for the best information,” the airport tweeted earlier Monday.

United told CNN it is “temporarily consolidating” its operations into Terminal 7 and contacting affected customers with new departure times and gate information.

Passengers who make their way safely to Terminal 8 will be held in Terminal 7 after screening, Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Lori Dankers said earlier Monday.

Dankers said all TSA employees are fine and the incident did not involve a TSA checkpoint.

CNN’s Marnie Hunter contributed to this report.


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