Tuesday, August 22, 2006

12 People Taken To Hospital From Minneapolis / St. Paul International Airport

Twelve people have been transported to the hospital and hazardous material crews are at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International right now after several people complained of eye and nose irritation, according to Patrick Hogan, of the Metropolitan Airports Commission. The complaints started around 11 a.m. near Checkpoint 1, Hogan said. An initial investigation by fire officials did not find any dangerous substances in the air, Hogan said. However, complaints continued and the St. Paul Hazardous Material Crews were called in and are still checking the area. Victims reported symptoms including burning of the eyes, nose, and mouth, Hogan said. Officials are still trying to identify the source of the irritation. Checkpoint 1 has been closed. The incident is impacting the ticket counters for American Airlines and U.S. Airways. Other than those ticket counters, airline operations are not being seriously impacted, Hogan said. It's not clear at this point what caused the sickness, Hogan said. Most of the complaints came from Airline employees and TSA employees. Hogan suggested that anyone traveling this afternoon check with the airlines to see if there has been any changes in flight schedule.