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Carbon monoxide in UK building sends one person to hospital

One person was taken to a hospital for treatment after an elevated level of carbon monoxide was detected Thursday afternoon in the Mining and Mineral Resources Building on the University of Kentucky campus, a fire department official said.

Authorities did not identify the person, who was treated at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital.

An emergency care unit responded to the building, 504 Rose Street, at 3:15 p.m. following a report of "a general sickness," said Maj. Brian Strange of the Lexington fire department.

A carbon-monoxide monitor on a bag carried by the emergency crew went off inside the building, Strange said. "As they proceeded downstairs, it went off again on the high mode, and that point we knew we had a situation," Strange said.

The building was then evacuated; Strange said he heard reports that four or five people were escorted outside, but there might have been more.

A forklift running on a loading dock next to the building is believed to have been the source of the carbon monoxide, Strange said. The forklift was shut off.

"We're still doing an investigation on exactly why it was there," Strange said.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide sickness include dizziness and headache.

The building, dedicated in 1988, has 230 rooms, said Jason Ellis, assistant fire marshal for UK. The building houses the Kentucky Geological Survey, the Department for Mining Engineering, and the Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute.

An online tour of the UK campus says that among the building's features "are ventilation tunnels used to gather information about air flow through mines."