"We try to maintain all the equipment down here but sometimes you just can't predict those problems." Terry Weber, Lancaster County Jail Administrator
Emergency crews took 12 inmates and Lancaster County Jail employees to the hospital following a carbon monoxide leak Sunday afternoon.
The Lancaster County Jail is located at 605 S. 10th Street.
The entire jail went into lock down as a precautionary measure.
LFR Battalion Chief Leo Benes said those taken to the hospital felt faint and nauseous. He said the symptoms were not life threatening and that everyone was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons.
Lancaster County Jail Administrator Terry Weber said the leak occurred in the cafeteria of the jail where inmates were working. A piece of equipment malfunctioned causing a fuse to blow.
"We try to maintain all the equipment down here but sometimes you just can't predict those problems," Weber said.
Once the fuse was repaired, clean air began flowing into the facility. But Weber says the jail isn't getting any younger.
"The building is in the vicinity of 20 years and once in a while you have fuses and things fail," Weber said.
The cafeteria area was the only part of the jail evacuated.
Weber also said security inmates working in the kitchen were escorted through a side door on H Street and loaded into ambulances.
"You always have some concern, but we were working with minimum security inmates," Weber said.
Firefighters initially had carbon monoxide readings of more than 200 parts per million-- the EPA says normal levels in a home without a gas stove .5 to 5ppm, while levels near properly adjusted gas stoves are often 5 to 15 ppm.
Everything went back to normal around 8:00 Monday night. All of the inmates and staff were feeling better the next day.