Those seeking a fun evening out with family or friends this past weekend found themselves out in the rain – or, worse yet, being transported to hospital – following a gas leak at a local bowling alley.
At approximately 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, Kingston Fire & Rescue and Frontenac Paramedics were dispatched to Splitsville Kingston, a bowling alley and arcade located at 10 Bath Road, after reports of a gas leak. Those in the facility were evacuated to the parking lot, while firefighters assessed the situation and paramedics attended to those exhibiting symptoms of exposure to carbon monoxide (CO). According to witnesses, there were as many as 60 patrons at the bowling alley.
In response to Kingstonist inquiries, Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) confirmed that its Kingston General Hospital (KGH) site had declared a Code Orange as a result of the incident. A Code Orange is activated when a hospital is notified of “an external disaster or mass casualty event” that will result in more patients coming into the emergency department at one time than the hospital might have capacity to receive.
“The Code Orange diverts resources from other areas of the organization to support the influx of patients,” KHSC explained.
On December 9, KHSC declared a Code Orange at approximately 5:30 p.m. “after a large group of people were exposed to carbon monoxide in the community,” the organization said.
“KHSC’s Emergency Department (ED) received 14 patients who ranged in age from nine to 60 years old,” the local health-care organization stated.
“As ED was already busy at the time, KHSC opened an alternate space in a different wing of the KGH site to be used to treat and observe these patients.”
According to KHSC, all of those patients received oxygen and were monitored anywhere from four to 12 hours before being discharged from hospital.
“The Code Orange was declared over at midnight,” KHSC said.
According to the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.
“CO symptoms are often described as ‘flu-like.’ If you breathe in a lot of CO, it can make you pass out or kill you. People who are sleeping or drunk can die from CO poisoning before they have symptoms,” the CDC states on its website, noting that everyone is susceptible to CO poisoning if exposed to the gas for too long or in large quantities.
Meanwhile, Kingston Fire & Rescue confirmed that their crews did attend for a gas leak, but could not confirm the cause of the incident.
“When fire crews entered the building, there was a strong smell of gas. Crews proceeded to shut off the gas to the building and complete a search of the building to ensure the building was evacuated. Once it was confirmed that all individuals were out of the building, crews ventilated the building,” Kingston Fire & Rescue relayed to Kingstonist.
“After the building was ventilated, Utilities Kingston locked out the gas meter and the building was closed to the public until an investigation was completed. Fire crews left just after 8 p.m.”
Utilities Kingston is expected to provide information on the cause of this incident in the near future.
Kingstonist reached out to Splitsville for comment on this matter. No response was received by time of publication.
This article will be updated if/when more information becomes available.