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Friday, June 6, 2008 - Page updated at 12:51 AM

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Carbon monoxide sends nine from Seatac WA to hospitals

SEATAC, Wash. —

Carbon monoxide fumes from a taxi cab idling in a home garage sent nine people, including three law enforcement officers, to area hospitals Thursday evening, a King County sheriff's spokesman says.

Three were reported in critical condition.

A man and woman and their adult son were found lying on the floor of a house in Seatac when a neighbor woman and her two children, ages 10 and 12, dropped by to visit, Sgt. John Urquhart said. That woman called for help and the first three arriving officers entered the home and also began to feel ill from the fumes.

All nine were dispatched to area hospitals, Urquhart said, with the three people found in the home reported to be in critical condition.

Harborview Medical Center in Seattle reported Thursday night it was treating seven people as a result of the carbon monoxide, with three considered critical, one in serious condition and the three law enforcement officers all satisfactory, spokeswoman Susan Gregg-Hanson said.

The two neighbor children reportedly were treated and released.

Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, which has a hyperbaric chamber used to treat carbon monoxide poisoning, was prepared to treat three of the victims, spokeswoman Alisha Mark said late Thursday night. She said one victim had already been transferred from Harborview and her hospital was expecting two more transfers.

Urquhart said he did not know why the cab had been left idling in the garage.

A friend of the family told KING-TV the man of the house was a driver for Yellow Cab.

After storms caused widespread power outages in King County in December 2006, at least 100 people in the area developed symptoms of exposure to carbon monoxide, mostly from using gas generators.

More than 62 of them were treated at Virginia Mason's hyperbaric chamber, which helps re-oxygenate the blood.

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