Twelve people from Qantas’ Auckland offices have been hospitalised following a suspected gas leak.
Another 50 people were triaged on Thursday and Victoria Street West’s Augusta House building cordoned off after fire and police were called at around 9:30 am on Thursday. The leak has now dissipated
And more than 100 were evacuated and checked by emergency services after reports of the leak.
A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman said a number of people were “significantly unwell” and vomiting, and witnesses reported some were stumbling out on the street.
Qantas said 100 of its staff worked in the affected office in the building and confirmed at least nine had been hospitalised in a stable condition.
“Several people at the Qantas Auckland office became unwell. At this stage it’s believed this was caused by fumes and is being investigated,” a spokesman said. “Our offices were evacuated as a precaution.”
A St John spokesperson says those who were hospitalised were experiencing “nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath”.
A Fire and Emergency investigation has so far been unable to find any traces of gases that commonly cause such problems and a New Zealand police bomb squad was also unable to find the source. At a media conference near the scene, Fire and Emergency spokesperson Dave Woon said it’s likely the source of the suspected gas leak was in the air conditioning system.
A cordon around the property has been removed and the building has reopened, the fire service spokesman said.