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N.H. Supermarket ‘Air Quality’ Incident Sends Several People To Hospitals

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This Market Basket on Route 202 in Rindge, NH was evacuated Sunday. (WBZ-TV)

This Market Basket on Route 202 in Rindge, NH was evacuated Sunday. (WBZ-TV)

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RINDGE, N.H. (CBS/AP) — A refrigerant leak Sunday night at a Rindge supermarket caused a woman to faint and sent nearly a dozen people to three area hospitals, authorities said.

Customers and employees evacuated the Market Basket on Route 202 on Sunday evening after complaining of dizziness and respiratory problems.

Shift Lt. Tom Redin of the Southwestern New Hampshire District Fire Mutual Aid said the incident was reported at about 6:12 p.m., adding a Hazmat team from Keene was sent to the scene to help determine the cause of the air quality problem.

None of the patients appeared to be suffering life-threatening injuries, a Keene Fire Department official said.

Chief Rick Donovan of the Rindge, NH Fire Department later said a valve leaking refrigerant was the source of the problem.

The leak occurred in the back of the store where 150 employees attended a previously scheduled meeting.

The victims were taken to Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough and Heywood Hospital in Gardner, Mass.

Refrigerant leaks are known to cause respiratory problems, throat irritation, and lowered blood pressure.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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