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Carbon monoxide at Baltimore-area hotel sends nine to hospital

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nine people were in stable condition in hospitals on Sunday after high levels of carbon monoxide were found at a hotel near the Baltimore-Washington international airport in Maryland, fire officials said.

The 260-room Westin hotel in Linthicum, Maryland, was evacuated on Sunday afternoon after an emergency crew treating an employee who felt faint found elevated levels of carbon monoxide throughout the seven-story building, said Lieutenant Russ Davies of the Anne Arundel County Fire Department.

"We did a room-by-room search of all seven floors to make sure the entire hotel was evacuated," said Davies, who added 64 rooms were occupied at the time of the emergency.

Eight of the nine people hospitalized were hotel employees and the other a guest, he added.

Fire officials cut off potential sources of the carbon monoxide and ventilated the building to bring levels of the poisonous gas to acceptable levels, Davies said. Employees of the hotel could not be reached for immediate comment.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can be fatal in high concentrations.

The Westin hotel chain is owned by Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc.

(Reporting by Peter Cooney; editing by Matthew Lewis)

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