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Monday, May 20 2013 6:04 AM EDT2013-05-20 10:04:48 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Four thousand people were evacuated from a Humana building in downtown Louisville Tuesday morning. Apparently an effort to make the building more energy-efficient backfired and made some employees sick.
Investigators say natural gas filled the Waterside Building, even sending one employee to the hospital. Thousands poured out of the Humana call center on Washington Street.
Louisville Fire and Rescue got the call at around 7:30 in the morning. Employees say they could smell the gas throughout the building.
One person was transported to the hospital for nausea. Humana officials say five were treated onsite by EMS for similar symptoms.
The rest of the call center employees waited about two hours across the street while fire and LG&E crews checked the building. Investigators say maintenance crews were working to empty the gas line to the boiler when gas escaped into the ventilation system.
Fire officials say the hot and humid weather kept the natural gas lingering in the air. The maintenance is all part of a bigger plan to make the building energy efficient.
Alex Kepnes of Humana explains, "The work being done by Humana right now is part of our ongoing sustainability program to reduce our carbon footprint. So that was part of the initiative going on in this building."
Humana officials say during the time employees were out of the building, calls were routed to other call operators so service was never disrupted.
Eventually inspectors gave the all clear for employees to go back inside the building.