BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- A gas leak at a blueberry warehouse in Bladen County sent more than 50 people to the hospital overnight. The Bladen County Sheriff's Department got the call around 8 p.m. Chief Deputy Phillip Little says a forklift was leaking propane gas throughout the Carolina Blueberry Association packing facility. The leaky fuel tank was emitting carbon monoxide and propane throughout the building.
"The one we think is the problem, just a few seconds after it was cranked, we noticed the carbon monoxide levels went up and the explosive levels went up," Little said.
Fifty-two of the 56 employees were taken to five area hospitals complaining of respiratory problems, although there do not appear to be any life threatening issues. It took officials more than six hours to restore the air quality.