Monday, October 24, 2005

Mysterious illness prompts mid-Mass evacuation

WETHERSFIELD, Conn. October 23, 2005, 6:26 PM EDT
A mysterious illness forced the evacuation of hundreds of parishioners in the middle of a Mass Sunday at a local church.

Police, fire and environmental crews responded to The Church of Incarnation during 11 a.m. Mass after getting reports that several people had fallen ill.

The symptoms included dizziness, nausea and, in one case, fainting, said Deputy Fire Marshal Jeffery Morrissette. About a dozen people were affected and at least two were taken to the hospital.

Some 400 people were evacuated while crews from the Department of Environmental Protection took air samples. Tests for carbon monoxide came back negative, but the church remained closed while authorities await results of further tests. A confirmation service scheduled later in the afternoon was moved to a church in Rocky Hill.

"Until the fire chief and health director are totally convinced that things are safe, obviously they're not going to let us return to the church," the Rev. James Moran told WVIT-TV. I’ve sat through a number of services like that myself. The prime causes of dizziness and nausea in me are: