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Carbon Monoxide Kills 1 At Va. College

A carbon monoxide leak in a college dormitory killed one person early Friday and sickened dozens of others, leaving at least one in critical condition, Roanoke College officials said.

College spokeswoman Teresa Gereaux said more than 80 people had been taken to two Roanoke Valley hospitals complaining of headaches, nausea, dizziness and shakiness. She said an elderly man had died.

A few collapsed and were taken by ambulance to the hospital. Others had milder symptoms and were transported by college van.

Nearly 140 adults and teens from across Virginia were staying in the Salem dorm as part of Upward Bound and the Lutheran group Power in the Spirit, Gereaux said. Members of the groups called campus police from the dorm's emergency phone shortly after dawn, and the police notified the Salem Fire Department.

The source of the carbon monoxide leak had not been located by noon, fire officials said.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas than can cause sickness or death. Leaks in buildings typically come from furnaces, heaters and other gasoline-powered equipment.

Gereaux said the dormitory was built in the 1920s and renovated in the 1980s.

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