Gyms tend to be filled to the brim with New Year’s resolution-fulfillers in January, but newcomers and gym rats alike at XSport Fitness in Alexandria, Virginia, collapsed and got sick after carbon monoxide leaked into the building on Jan. 2.
“I started getting lightheaded and I thought it was just the pre-workout actually kicking in,” Al Cavitt told Fox 5 DC. “I looked over to my left, and a gentleman literally just collapsed off of the machine.”
Cavitt’s workout partner was also affected.
“I hear my girlfriend yelling my name,” Cavitt said. “As I turn around and look, she's literally falling back on the pillar and bracing herself to not fall all the way down on the floor.
"At that time, it kind of like kicked in, and I was like, 'Something is not right here,' and I look up, and people were running by, and it was kind of like pandemonium."
Alexandria Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Dalton said authorities were alerted to the problem thanks to a carbon monoxide detector. Though a reading of 35 parts per million is considered dangerous, one reading of the building registered at more than 1,000 parts per million.
Dalton said the leak was caused by the pool heaters.
“They malfunctioned, and the carbon monoxide was coming out into the building, which is still under investigation,” he said.
Two people were taken to the hospital, and five others were well enough to transport themselves there. Another two people went to urgent care.
According to the gym’s Facebook page, the pool was set to open on the evening of Jan. 6.