2 dozen inmates sickened by carbon monoxide

JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (AP) -- Carbon monoxide has sickened more than two dozen inmates at an East Tennessee jail.

Washington County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Leighta Laitinen told the Johnson City Press one inmate lost consciousness during the incident Saturday morning and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Authorities said a malfunctioning gas-fired water heater leaked the gas into two pods of the jail in Jonesborough. When inmates began complaining of headaches, jailers took some of them to the booking area and others to an exercise yard.

The water heater was turned off and the pods were ventilated.

Laitenen said the sheriff's office staff will meet Monday to discuss why no detection system was installed and how much it would cost to get one.


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