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19 Exeter Hospital Staff Get Sick In Operating Room

EXETER, N.H. (CBS/AP) — Nineteen staff members from a New Hampshire hospital emergency department that was evacuated because of an unknown odor have been evaluated after some complained of dizziness and nausea.

Ambulances responded to Exeter Hospital on Friday morning. People were seen on stretchers outside the hospital. A hospital spokeswoman says the affected staff members were treated and most have reported feeling better.

Exeter Hospital
Patients on stretchers outside Exeter Hospital. (WBZ-TV)

The hospital shut down an inpatient operating room and the emergency room directly above it out of an abundance of caution. Patients have been taken to other hospitals.

The Exeter Hospital spokeswoman says the interruption of service hasn't resulted in any patient safety concerns. All other areas of the hospital remain unaffected and are operating as usual.

The cause of the odor is being investigated. Hazmat teams searched the hospital twice and did not find anything of concern.

"I'm not going to stand here and tell you 19 people didn't get sick, they did, but we're confident whatever sickened them is no longer there in the hospital," said Asst. Chief Eric Wilking of Exeter the Fire Department.

The hospital is undergoing a deep cleaning. The emergency room is expected to be open on Saturday and the operating room should be open on Monday.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Bernice Corpuz reports

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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