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A Gas Leak at a Costco Warehouse in This State Caused 20 Illnesses

The store was closed until further notice, according to authorities.

A Costco location in New Jersey was evacuated on Wednesday after a Freon leak inside the warehouse caused an estimated 20 illnesses, authorities said.

The Hazlet Township Police Department said it received two calls about the incident, the first of which came through around 6:45 a.m. local time. Per police, Costco staff members initially moved to delay the opening of the store as they ventilated it. (RELATED: The 100 Unhealthiest Foods On the Planet)

"Around 9:30, we received another call from Costco that they had an estimated 20 employees complaining of headaches and nausea," the department wrote on its Facebook page. "Upon our arrival, all staff were evacuated outside."

An EMS task force provided between 15 and 20 ambulances from the Bayshore area and surrounding Monmouth County.

"You may see a heavy emergency service presence in the area for a little while as they assess the patients and transport them to area hospitals for evaluation," the department wrote at the time. "We thank all of our public safety partners for their quick response to this situation and wish all staff that was affected a quick recovery."

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "The risks associated with the use of refrigerants in refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment can include toxicity, flammability, asphyxiation, and physical hazards."

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Ultimately, four individuals were sent to the hospital and treated, according to the Twitter account of the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Shaun Golden commended all emergency personnel for their "quick response" to ensure health and safety on the scene.

The store was closed until further notice, police said on Wednesday. Eat This, Not That! has reached out to Costco for additional information regarding the incident.

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Joseph Neese
Joseph was the Managing Editor of Eat This, Not That!, where he collaborates with the Editor-in-Chief on editorial strategy and content partnerships. Read more about Joseph
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