A Target store in Keene, N.H., had to be evacuated Tuesday due to high levels of carbon monoxide, and 17 employees were taken to local hospitals, according to the Keene Sentinel.


Fire officials came to the Target after getting a call from an employee, who was complaining of smelling an odd odor, at about 12:40 p.m. Firefighters measured a high level of carbon monoxide at the store, and evacuated the building. Some 44 Target employees were tested for carbon monoxide poisoning at the scene, the Keene Sentinel reported.  

It turned out that 11 of those employees were sent to Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock, and four of them had high enough levels of the potentially fatal gas to be diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the local newspaper. 

Six other employees who had left the Target on Ash Brook Road before firefighters arrived went to hospitals on their own to get treatment.

The source of the carbon monoxide was a gas-powered cutting machine that was in the Target in the morning cutting out pieces of its concrete floor as part of a renovation, according to the Keene Sentinel. Fire authorities believe that the store wasn’t properly ventilated when that work was done, or when workers took out the concrete slabs with a tractor.  

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