High CO levels send two Pine Grove inmates and staff member to hospital

All 18 inmates from a unit at Pine Grove Correctional Centre in Prince Albert were moved to the chapel and a recreation centre on Wednesday because of elevated levels of carbon monoxide, and two inmates and a staff member were transported to hospital. Spokesperson for the Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety, Noel Busse, says inmates from the unit reported a funny smell to staff in the morning.
Staff investigated, called SaskEnergy and immediately ventilated the unit. SaskEnergy found elevated levels of carbon monoxide, and it turns out a faulty heater for the unit was the cause.

“There were two inmates ultimately that went to hospital for treatment of what appeared to be carbon monoxide symptoms (of) nausea and headaches and there was also a staff member that did attend the hospital,” Busse said. “SaskEnergy personnel indicated that the area was safe at 4 p.m. that day and inmates and staff were moved back to the unit.”

Busse says he isn’t sure if there were supposed to be carbon monoxide detectors at Pine Grove prior to this incident, but the unit has now been equipped with them and there is a review going on about detectors in the facility.

When asked whether the heating systems in other units were being inspected, Busse directed reporters to ask the Ministry of SaskBuilds and Procurement.

(With files from Carol Thomson, CJWW News)

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