Carbon Monoxide Leaves 81 People Hospitalized


Jan 30, 2013; St. Paul, MN, USA; A zamboni cleans the ice at the Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Blackhawks 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone knows hockey is a rough sport, but who would have foreseen a ice resurfacing machine being the culprit behind numerous hospitalizations, after a junior hockey league game in Wisconsin?

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  • After a dominating 5-1 win by the Dells Ducks over the Roachester Ice Hawks last Saturday, things took a turn for the worse at the Poppy Waterman Arena in Lake Delton, when several players, coaches and fans suddenly became ill.

    As symptoms including dizziness, nausea, headaches, vomiting and fainting began to surface, paramedics were called to the rink, only to discover that the teams and their fans had gotten much more than they bargained for.

    Tests conducted by the Lake Delton Fire Department determined that the sudden sickness was a result of a high level of carbon monoxide, produced by one of the rink’s two propane-powered  ice resurfacing machines.

    81 people in total were sent to area hospitals, 25 consisting of players and coaches.

    Setting aside the embarrassing loss to the Ducks, Ice Hawks head coach Nick Fatis was satisfied that his team literally made it out of the game alive.

    "“Honestly we are lucky nobody died,” Fatis said. “These are athletes, doing high-level physical activity, breathing in heavily for several hours, in an environment that was poisoned by carbon monoxide. It was very ugly, but it could have been much worse.”"

    The malfunctioning machines will be out of service until it undergoes and clears inspections, along with the other resurfacer.

    This incident marks the second time people attending hockey games have been sent to the hospital as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning, in the past two weeks.

    More from Puck Prose

    Back on Nov. 30, a total of 16 people, consisting of players and spectators attending a charity hockey event in Ottawa, were treated after showing similar symptoms of those seen in Lake Delton. Fortunately, for the much-respected reputation of the ice resurfacing machine , a faulty exhaust vent in the facility was to blame in this case.

    Players take the ice, watching their backs for the next opponent looking to send them into the boards. Spectators head to the stadium hoping their team’s ticket prices won’t continue to rise. Will the fear carbon monoxide poisoning become the long awaited bridge between players and fans?

    With this all up in the air one thing appears certain; the gas known as “The Silent Killer” is apparently becoming a hockey fan.