Local News

Diesel Fuel Caused Evacuations in Harnett County

Posted April 19, 2007 12:16 p.m. EDT

— Authorities have determined diesel fuel was the source of a strange odor that sickened some Harnett County employees and forced the evacuation of three county office buildings Tuesday.

About 160 workers were forced from the offices of the Department of Aging, Department of Social Services and the county Health Department after some employees became nauseated by a strange odor, authorities said. Eleven people were taken to Betsy Johnson Memorial Hospital in Dunn for treatment.

Dozens of Harnett County employees were forced from three county buildings Tuesday morning after a strange odor began making people sick, authorities said.

Hazmat teams spent Tuesday afternoon swabbing walls and desktops and monitoring air inside the buildings to determine the source of the smell.

They finally determined a worker placed diesel fuel on a mop to clean a floor. Fumes from the fuel created the odor, they said.

There was no word Thursday on whether the worker would be disciplined.

The office buildings reopened Wednesday.