Authorities evacuated the First National Tower in downtown Omaha after fumes began spreading through the building Thursday morning.
First National spokesperson Kevin Langin says crews were doing routine maintenance on the tower's air handling system when chemical fumes were apparently spread. "A descaling solution was being used with a humidifier in the building and apparently some fumes were apparent to some of the employees. They complained of the fumes and how it was making them feel."
Langin says after the complaints, they took actions to evacuate. "We initially evacuated floors 17 on down to the main floor. Those fumes have since become apparent in some other areas of the building, so out of an abundance of caution, we've evacuated the whole tower."
Some were treated at the scene, while at least eleven people were taken to the hospital after complaining of breathing problems. One person was transported in critical condition.
An estimated 2,000 people were evacuated. Langin says the employees were moved into other buildings on their downtown campus.