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Foul odors at Camp Kinser warehouse cause workers nausea

Date Posted: 2009-04-29

Six Okinawans working on Camp Kinser are being checked out at local hospitals after they reported sore throats and nausea after breathing a foul odor at a base warehouse.

The Urasoe Fire Department, working with information from the U.S. military, determined that the six workers had breathed an unknown substance a week earlier, and were suffering throat pains, eczema and nausea. Officials are now working together to determine “how this happened, and why.” Okinawa Prefecture Police have joined the investigation.

The Okinawa Self Defense Force Office says “we received information from the American military that oil was leaking from a pipe at an old warehouse located near Highway 58.” Initial investigation, an official says, determined “it’s not oil, but some kind of liquid leaking from a warehouse side pipe.” The smell from that liquid, officials say, caused the six workers to encounter the nausea and throat pain symptoms.

The call for assistance from the U.S. military came Monday to the Urasoe Fire Department. The warehouse where the odor was emanating contained furniture. Earlier in the day, U.S. officials had evacuated a military laundry nearby. Investigators categorized the incident as not serious, noting there were no emergency issues sending the six workers to the hospital, although all have since been sent for checkups.

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