|Hospital 198's emergency ward received the patients, who came in with symptoms of nausea and difficulty breathing. — Photo danviet
HA NOI (VNS) — Ambulances rushed 19 people to the hospital Saturday night after they inhaled too many motorbike exhaust fumes while waiting to leave a supermarket's basement parking lot, VietnamPlus reported.
A swarm of people left a live concert held at Big C The Garden in Nam Tu Liem District in Ha Noi and rushed down to the basement for their motorbikes, the parking area's keepers told another online newspaper, Vnexpress. The dozens of motorbikes were left running while their owners waited to leave, filling the basement with fumes and causing asphyxiation.
A janitor present during the incident said about 20 people were lying scattered along the staircases leading to the supermarket's upper floor, including parking counter attendants.
Hospital 198's emergency ward received the patients, who came in with symptoms of nausea and difficulty breathing, according to the ward's Dr. Do Chi Hieu.
After the patients were given first aid, five were released. The other 14 left by 6 a.m. yesterday morning after the physicians performed respiratory support interventions to remove toxins from their bodies and gave them oxygen.
When Vnexpress got to the supermarket yesterday morning it was open, but the parking lot was still stuffy.
"It was hard to breathe in the basement," said Nguyen Thi Phuong, who frequents the supermarket and parked in the basement. "I was forced to leave it immediately after parking my bike. This place should install a ventilation system or a large-capacity fan to ease the stuffiness in there."
Colonel Tran Quang Trong, director of the Nam Tu Liem District Police, said an initial investigation of the incident found that the basement was not ventilated, which led to the asphyxiation.
Trong said he would urge Ha Noi to stop the store from operating until further investigations were complete.
However, Big C said in a statement yesterday that it did have an air conditioning and ventilation system in the parking basement, but that the regrettable incident was caused by a hiccup in the system. — VNS