Family who lives next to boiler room where lethal gas built up in Saskatoon apartment building shaken by close call
SASKATOON -- Amit Kotwani, along with his wife and six-year-old daughter, was among the dozens of people sent to hospital following a carbon monoxide (CO) leak at a Saskatoon apartment building Thursday night.
“I was told that if I stayed one more night over here, I would have died,” Kotwani said.
As many as 50 people were evacuated from 12 Bateman Crescent on Thursday night due to the leak.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) said 43 people, including 22 children, ended up in hospital.
Kotwani said his apartment unit is located right next to the boiler room the area of the building where the highest CO levels were detected.
Saskatoon Fire Department Chief Morgan Hackl said the CO amount was 200 parts per million in the hallways, but about 400 parts per million in the boiler room, a concentration that can be lethal after two to three hours of exposure. .
“We didn’t know what was happening. We were having terrible headaches. We were having nausea, my daughter started vomiting,” Kotwani said.
“You can’t even sit properly, you’re feeling that you are trapped, you can’t move.”
It wasn’t until Kotwani and his family were taken to Saskatoon City Hospital that they discovered they had CO poisoning.
“The poisoning level of carbon monoxide (in my blood) was 32, which was the highest of all,” he said.
All people that were in hospital have been discharged.
Kotwani said he and his family will be staying at a hotel until Wednesday and will likely be able to return to the apartment after that.
However, he said his confidence in the building is shaken and that he might look at other living arrangements once his lease ends.
“I’m a little bit scared coming back here. You don’t know which other disasters are waiting at the building.”