ROWLEY (CBS) — Emergency crews responded to the Market Basket in Rowley Thursday afternoon for a refrigerant leak inside the supermarket. Eight people were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
Multiple ambulances and fire trucks could be seen in the parking lot off Route 1 at about 3 p.m. Firefighters said 25 people were evaluated outside the store for breathing problems.
Emergency services responded to complaints by shoppers of burning eyes and sore throats.
Sharon Anderson was one of the shoppers who was taken to the hospital. “All of a sudden I couldn’t breathe,” Anderson said. “And I was coughing and gasping and trying to figure out what was happening to me, literally could not breathe.” Anderson said an employee helped her get out of the store.
Investigators have identified a refrigerant leak in an ice machine near the bakery as the source of the problem. Authorities say nobody suffered serious injuries but it was traumatizing.
“I started coughing, then my chest started to hurt, my eyes started to water. Then within a few seconds everybody around me had the same symptoms,” said one shopper who did not want to be identified. “I walked out the door and some people started to actually collapse because they couldn’t breathe.”
In a statement Thursday night, Market Basket said the problem was resolved, and the store will reopen at 7:00 a.m. Friday.