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23 employees taken to hospital after carbon monoxide exposure

Several employees of Forest River's plant 6 in Middlebury were taken to the hospital after being exposed to carbon monoxide Monday morning.

According to Middlebury Fire Chief Jeff Wogoman, the fire department was called to Forest River at 7:12 a.m. for one person suffering from carbon monoxide exposure.

"Originally we were dispatched for one patient and on the way up there they said well now there are 142 patients," Wogoman said.

All 142 employees inside the plant were checked for signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.

"Headache, dizziness. The ones taken by ambulance were a little worse- lethargic, vomiting, not feeling well," Wogoman said.

In all, 23 were taken to Elkhart General to be checked out.

"When we got there all the detectors in the units they were building were going off,  but by the time we got there they had the whole building ventilated prior to our arrival," said Wogoman.

The plant closed for the rest of the day.

Firefighters say the carbon monoxide was caused by a problem with the exhaust system in the furnace.

"They had a furnace in the factory there that had a, faulty exhausts system had rusted through," said Wogoman.

A spokeswoman for Elkhart General said they called in extra staff to care for the increase in patients.

As of 5 p.m., only one employee remained in the hospital. The rest were released.

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