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18 in hospital after carbon monoxide poisoning at Scarborough restaurant

Last Updated Mar 23, 2017 at 5:24 am EDT

At least 18 people were taken to hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning on Wednesday.

Emergency crews were called to the Mandarin Restaurant, a popular buffet at Eglinton Avenue East and Birchmount Road, around 3 p.m., after reports of someone having difficulty breathing. Toronto fire says there were high readings of the deadly odourless gas toward the back of the restaurant.

Acting platoon chief Colin Giffin says a number of staff members suffered low-level carbon monoxide poisoning. Paramedics said Thursday that all 18 people were Mandarin employees, not customers.

The restaurant and neighbouring businesses were evacuated. The gas company and a special safety investigator were also called to the scene, and checked out the building’s ventilation system.

The cause of the leak is undetermined at this point and the investigation is ongoing.

The restaurant is expected to remain closed until further notice.