A supposed cinematic experience was turned into a tragedy after 63 individuals were rushed to the hospital due to excessive levels of Carbon Monoxide in a movie theater on Wednesday. Based on some Chinese government officials, the victims of the tragic incident were immediately brought to the hospital.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
The $150 complex in Zhejiang province in the eastern portion of China just opened its doors to the public a month ago. According to Newsweek, the local media reports mentioned that the audience at the Weishan Xintiandi shopping mall which is located in the city of Dongyang, was just 10 minutes into their film when a number of audiences started to feel dizzy and vomit.
The theater in the Weishan Xintiandi shopping mall had been serving customers for only six days. An order from local authorities came regarding its closure in the wake of the incident.
In the footage uploaded by netizens which were shared by local media outlets, frantic patrons can be seen helping their loved ones out of the theater. Others can be seen lying on the tiled floor of the mall.
Based on the tests performed by the Dongyang People's Government, on Thursday, those 63 individuals exhibited excessive levels of carbon monoxide in their blood. The statement also mentioned that the theater was already shut down and an investigation is still ongoing.
Moreover, speculations coming from local media sites showed that poor ventilation inside the auditorium could be the possible reason behind the carbon monoxide poisoning. Despite no life-threatening symptoms have been exhibited by the 63 individuals, the municipal government also shared that it is still not clear whether how many among the victims were still in the hospital or how many among them were children, Global Times reported.
Meanwhile, according to Yahoo! News, Shanghai news outlet, The Paper reported that the four-story Weishan Xintiandi mall just opened its doors to the public on January 22, in time for the Lunar New Year holiday which started last Thursday. Based on some reports, the movie theater held a soft opening on February 8 and opened officially for service on Friday, February 12. Since the COVID-19 pandemic also caused travel restrictions outside the country, Most Chinese have flocked to theaters during its week-long celebration of New Year.
The Chinese government was able to control the coronavirus outbreak last spring. But, numerous clusters of infections throughout December and January have sparked some concerns which led to movie theater capacity being reduced.
As a result of the social distancing protocol, cinemas were ordered to have only customers good for 50% of their theater's seating capacity. However, the limited seating did not stop Chinese moviegoers to spend the holidays watching a number of films.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in the US
On the other hand, in Texas this week, hundreds of cases of carbon monoxide poisoning have also been reported, as residents turned their cars and even grills just to stay warm during power outages caused by a winter storm.
Numerous deaths in the state have already been linked to the said poisoning based on the report of the Houston Police.