Fumes cause panic

KINGTON — The island’s environmental management agency was last night still trying to determine the source of noxious fumes that resulted in more than 50 persons, some of whom collapsed, being rushed to hospital in Kingston.

The mystery fumes also caused discomfort to many more persons in the vicinity of the Central Sorting Office on South Camp Road, plunging the area into chaos for a few hours.

Several businesses in the area were forced to close, classes were suspended at nearby schools, and persons were evacuated from the CSO building as the police restricted traffic movement from East Queen Street to South Camp Road in an effort to protect people from potential harm.

At the same time, firefighters, medical personnel and National Environment and Planning Agency officials tried to find the source of the fumes.

That, however, did not prevent people from panicking as CSO workers and curious onlookers began to collapse.

“What is happening? Somebody tell us what is going on, nuh!” screamed one woman as her colleague fainted.

Police at the scene said medical officials made at least six trips to the Kingston Public Hospital.

Yesterday, senior Kingston Public Hospital officials declined to give more information on the issue, directing reporters to the Ministry of Health. However, efforts to get a comment from ministry officials were unsuccessful. (Observer)

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