SEATTLE — People were held for nearly three hours in the Bank of America Plaza building Wednesday afternoon after a dozen people on the 19th floor reported feeling sick.
No one was allowed to leave or enter the 42-story building as hazardous materials crews checked for the source of an odor, which some described as smelling like rotten eggs, said Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman Helen Fitzpatrick.
Emergency crews blocked off two city blocks and set up decontamination tents in the street, where they aired out the clothing of 12 workers who complained of feeling ill, Fitzpatrick said.
Eight workers were checked at Harborview Medical Center, then released. Some said they had vomited at the bank.
The 17th, 18th and 19th floors were evacuated during the incident, which began at 12:30 p.m. People were not allowed out of the building in case they had been exposed to a serious contaminant, Fitzpatrick said.
The building was reopened at about 3:15 p.m. after initial searches turned up nothing serious. It was not immediately known what caused people to feel sick.
Dan McElligott, who works on the 24th floor, said the building closure caused him minor inconvenience, but he felt crews took appropriate action due to recent bioterrorism scares.
"I think they did a really good job considering what’s going on in the world today," McElligott said.
"It was frustrating, but I’d rather be frustrated than be a danger to someone."
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