5 employees taken to hospital, 27 evaluated on second day of ‘tar smell’ at Charlotte business

People sickened at office again

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - For the second day in a row, emergency crews were called to an office park in South Charlotte after employees reported getting nauseous due to an odor.

On Thursday, 46 people were evaluated by Medic after an “unknown odor,” which officials later said was due to the HVAC system dispersing the smell of tar from construction work on the roof, forced a building evacuation at a multi-story office building on Regency Executive Park Drive, off Nations Ford Road near I-77.

Friday morning employees again began getting nauseous, prompting more calls to Medic and the Charlotte Fire Department. By noon, five more people had been taken to the hospital and 27 had been evaluated.

“I was surprised, I didn’t expect it to happen again,” said Keisha Locy, who works in the building. “I just showed up to work and the firetrucks were here and they were bringing people out again.”

Some of those evaluated on Friday were also evaluated on Thursday, but that’s still more than 70 evaluations because of illness complaints in the building in less than two days.

Some people who work there are questioning why employees were able to return to work today in the first place on Friday.

“It’s supposed to be a safe place to work. You’re not supposed to be in danger of anything,” Locy said.

“I knew it wasn’t safe,” said another employee who did not want to be identified. “They should have given us 24 hours before we could have gone back to work.”

Keisha Locy said when she got to work Friday morning, people were again being rolled out on gurneys from her office building. She says she’s concerned for her own safety and worries that she could be breathing in toxic materials.

“I really wish I had more answers,” Locy said. “It would be nice to know, so many people have been taken to the hospital, it would be nice to know what was going on.”

Hazmat teams investigated the building on Thursday and didn’t find any hazardous materials, but employees are still concerned that the sickening feeling will keep happening.

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