Dozens of people have fallen ill Thursday morning after a carbon monoxide leak in Johnston, Iowa. The Iowa State Patrol says numerous people were overcome by carbon monoxide at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy and are being taken to local hospitals.
Just before 6:00, an overnight security guard inside the academy noticed a strange smell and immediately called 9-1-1. The academy's director, Judy Bradshaw, says all roughly 85 students were evacuated from the building in less than five minutes. Everyone was out before emergency crews arrived on scene.
Patients with the highest carbon monoxide levels and suffering from the most severe symptoms were transported by ambulance to local hospitals.
Authorities say some patients were taken to the hospital by National Guard vans and public transit buses because of the volume of people affected. Carbon monoxide testing conducted Thursday morning confirmed high levels of the potentially deadly gas.
The building has been aired out, but officials say students are not expected to return to the facility anytime soon. Cadets will return to classes on Monday, but will be using classrooms and barracks at the National Guard base.
The incident remains under investigation.