30 employees evacuated from Lexington plant; tests show high carbon monoxide levels

About 30 employees of a Lexington company were evacuated Friday morning, a spokesman for the Lexington Fire Department said.

Shortly after 9:30 a.m., firefighters were called to Neogen Corp. on Mercer Road after an employee reported an odd smell, Battalion Chief Joe Best said.

A carbon-monoxide test conducted by Columbia Gas showed 140 parts per million. "Typically we evacuate a structure when it's 10 parts per million or more," Best said.

The evacuated building was aired out.

"We think the batteries on the forklifts may have overheated while they were recharging," Best said. "They were charging them overnight and they overcharged them."

No one was hurt or had to be hospitalized, Best said.

The company's local animal-safety division manufactures and distributes pharmaceuticals, veterinary instruments and diagnostic equipment.