Walt Whitman Shops: Carbon monoxide leak in Long Island mall kills one.

Heating System Thought to Be Source of Deadly Carbon Monoxide Leak at New York Mall

Heating System Thought to Be Source of Deadly Carbon Monoxide Leak at New York Mall

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Feb. 23 2014 12:54 PM

Heating System Thought to Be Source of Deadly Carbon Monoxide Leak at New York Mall

Officials investigating a carbon monoxide leak that killed one person and hospitalized more than two dozen people at a New York mall are focusing on the heating system. Steve Nelson, a 55-year-old manager at the Legal Sea Foods restaurant at the Long Island mall, was found unconscious in the basement while police were clearing out the restaurant. He died of cardiac arrest in the ambulance, reports Reuters.

The 27 other people who were taken to area hospitals following the leak were restaurant employees, police or ambulance workers. "Right now, we are inspecting the heating system, and this incident seems to be confined to the basement area," Suffolk County Police Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick said, according to the Associated Press. "It does not appear to have made it in the area of the restaurant where the customers were." Police were initially called to the restaurant because a woman had hit her head in the basement of the restaurant. But when rescue worekrs arrived they began to feel lightheaded. Two other restaurants—Panera Bread and the Cheesecake Factory—were also evacuated. 

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.