Carbon Monoxide leak brings about death

By Brittany Liberatore
September 15, 2006

A Carbon Monoxide leak in a Roanoke College dormitory ended the life of one man on

July 14, 2006. Along with the fatality, approximately 80 people were sent to the hospital, complaining of headaches, nausea and dizziness.

At the present time, Carbon Monoxide detectors are not installed in any of Cabrini’s dormitories. Howard Holden, director of facilities at Cabrini, said, “Cabrini is in compliance with all current local, state and federal regulations in this area.” There has been discussion in the state of Pennsylvania as to whether or not to make Carbon Monoxide detectors mandatory in places where people sleeps, such as college dorms, hotels or hospitals.

Responding to the death that occurred at Roanoke College Holden said, “We are aware of the Roanoke incident, which we understand occurred when an outside organization was using the facilities, and we are evaluating what approach should be taken at this time.”

Roanoke College, located in Virginia, was housing about 140 adults and teens who were participating in the Upward Bound and Lutheran group. Some of the residents notified the campus police after the started feeling ill. The initial call was made around sunrise, however the source of the Carbon Monoxide leak was not detected until the afternoon.

Brian Scelzo, a junior finance major, was alarmed that it took hours to find the leak. Scelzo said, “If a number of residents were complaining of feeling ill, I think the students should have been evacuated.”

Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas. Carbon Monoxide detectors are needed to assure that this deadly gas is not a silent killer. These leaks typically come from furnaces, heaters and gas powered equipment. All three appliances are located in all college dorms.

After realizing how dangerous this gas is, Andrea Mory, a sophomore marketing major, was shocked to learn that Cabrini is not equipped with Carbon Monoxide detectors. Mory said, “After hearing the effects of Carbon Monoxide, especially of people our age, it worries me. I hope that Cabrini learns from Roanoke’s mistake and equips the campus with properly.”

Brittany Liberatore

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