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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Kills 1 At New York Mall

HUNTINGTON STATION, N.Y. (AP) - Officials investigating a carbon monoxide leak at a New York mall are concentrating on the heating system of a restaurant following the death of the eatery's 55-year-old manager and more than two dozen others being sent to hospitals.

Suffolk County police identified the man who died Saturday as Steven Nelson, a manager at the Legal Sea Foods restaurant at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station on Long Island.

Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick said the medical examiner would determine Nelson's cause of death.

Fitzpatrick said the initial call to police came shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday about a woman who had fallen and hit her head in the basement of the Legal Sea Foods outlet.

When rescue workers arrived at the scene, they started to feel lightheaded and nauseated and suspected a carbon monoxide leak, Fitzpatrick said.

1 Dead, 28 Sick After Carbon Monoxide Leak At N.Y. Mall

Police evacuated the restaurant and found Nelson, of Copiague, unconscious in the basement.

The woman who fell was taken to Huntington Hospital, as was Nelson, who was pronounced dead there. There was no immediate word on the woman's condition.

Authorities said 27 people were taken to five area hospitals. Fitzpatrick said none appeared to have life-threatening injuries. WABC-TV reported that all but a handful of patients had been treated and released.

All of those affected by the fumes were restaurant employees, police or ambulance workers, Fitzpatrick said. He said the leak appeared to originate with the heating system.

"Right now, we are inspecting the heating system, and this incident seems to be confined to the basement area. It does not appear to have made it in the area of the restaurant where the customers were," he said.

Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless and can lead to death by suffocation.

In addition to the Legal Sea Foods restaurant, two others, Panera and a Cheesecake Factory outlet, were evacuated as a precaution, even as the mall remained open.

"They told us to leave because of a gas leak," Cheesecake Factory patron Kathy Sella said. "I didn't want to blow up or anything like that. We were at the bar having a glass of wine and then, one of the waitresses, she said you have to leave."

The Walt Whitman Shops, located about 35 miles east of New York City, consists of more than 80 stores, including anchors Bloomingdale's, Lord & Taylor, Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue.

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Tom February 24 2014 at 12:40 AM

Been to tha restarant a few years ago..nice place but very busy..I know a few Cops that work in that area...

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mrandmrsz February 24 2014 at 12:28 AM

Ariana - please have word with your headline writers. Carbon monoxide is a dangerous poison and a pollutant. Carbon dioxide, while vilified for some reason, is a requirement for life. "Carbon" has never harmed anyone.

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riverwishin February 24 2014 at 1:36 AM

Mrandmrsz, forget about it...your barking up the wrong tree with Huff Post!! Most of the time the story isn't even about what the headline says. These ppl (Huff Post) don't give a frick when they are wrong. I only read their articles for fun cuz I know going in that most likely their info is wrong or the headline doesn't even match up with the story!!

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chckpope February 23 2014 at 8:41 PM

"Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless and can lead to death by suffocation."
That is why you need to install detectors, they save lives. Well worth the $20.00, common sense goes a long way.

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heinslerl February 23 2014 at 6:41 PM

the story is about carbon monoxide not getting a job. Most homeowners have monoxide dectors how come restauants don't?

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ladyfawne February 24 2014 at 12:12 AM

They do. Why this one didn't go is currently under investigation. We do know at this point that it was a faulty pipe, and what with the freeing temperatures we have had as of late, could have fractured.

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nvisiblegypsys February 23 2014 at 6:37 PM

and the lawyers sharpen their pencils all aquiver as we read this................

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1 reply to nvisiblegypsys's comment
DOUG February 23 2014 at 11:57 PM

See there is a -1 but you are right. Those scum *******, ambulance chasing, anything for a buck, lawyers are drooling and lining up already for a peice of this financial pie.....

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patriot1too February 23 2014 at 5:37 PM

Its New Yuk. Does anyone really care??

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alydartwo February 23 2014 at 5:27 PM

they hit the ny lotto...

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rversaggi February 23 2014 at 5:21 PM

Aren't commercial establishments required to have carbon monoxide detectors in working
order? Regardless of the cause of the initial event, the detectors might have saved the life of
the manager.

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3 replies to rversaggi's comment
dannyh94102 February 23 2014 at 5:08 PM

I'd be surprised if any of these shop will still be in business a year from now.

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3 replies to dannyh94102's comment
indycoltsfan38 February 23 2014 at 5:06 PM

Maybe Cuomo will blame the NRA for this one to.

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