mid-afternoon, officials at Exeter Hospital had yet to determine
what caused the incident, which began between 8:30 a.m. and 9
a.m. EDT when five staff members complained of feeling dizzy,
spokeswoman Debra Vasapolli said.
Other staff members in the hospital's operating room later
became ill, she said. The hospital initially said patients were
among those affected, but Vasapolli said it was only staff
"No source has been determined at this point," Vasapolli said.
"In an abundance of caution ... we evacuated the O.R. (operating
room) and closed it, as well as the emergency department, until
we can determine the source."
The affected staff were being treated in the parking lot and on
grassy areas outside the hospital, which is about 50 miles north
of Boston. Twelve of those who felt ill were sent to other
facilities and seven were released, Vasapolli said.
The fire department in neighboring Kingston said it sent two
ambulances to the scene.
(Reporting by Peter Szekely; editing by Daniel Wallis and Tom
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