Building Hit by Fumes 2nd Day; 32 Felled

Times Staff Writers

Thirty-two people were taken to local hospitals this morning after they were evacuated from a mid-Wilshire office building after being overcome by leaking fumes. It was the second evacuation from the building in two days.

More than 300 people were forced to leave the nine-story building at 4050 Wilshire Blvd. shortly before 9 a.m. after several building employees complained of breathing difficulties, dizziness and nausea.

The building had also been evacuated Wednesday afternoon, when acetone fumes from cleaning solvents got into the ventilation system and permeated the building. Six people suffering breathing difficulties were taken to Queen of Angels Medical Center after that mishap, but all were released within hours.

No Explanation

Fire officials had no immediate explanation for today's problem, which appeared to be concentrated on the building's first and sixth floors.

Los Angeles City Fire Department spokesman Patrick Patterson said it did not appear to be linked to the acetone leak. The department's mobile lab could find no evidence of the presence of acetone today, "and the two incidents seem to be unrelated," he said.

Patterson said it would take several hours of examination before the source of today's fumes could be discovered. The building was to remain empty during the investigation.

Most of those hospitalized today were employees of offices in the building who were suffering from nausea and dizziness, and irritation of the eyes, throat and lungs.

They were taken to seven area hospitals, but hospital officials said most would be examined and released within a few hours.

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