Mystery Odor Forces Employee Evacuation

Erlinda Juan
Erlinda Juan
HAZMAT teams respond in Iwilei
HAZMAT teams respond in Iwilei

(KHNL) - A mysterious odor sent workers in Iwilei scrambling out of their building Thursday. Authorities are still stumped as to what the smell was.

Paramedics tend to Iwilei workers overcome by a mysterious odor.

"One co-worker, the ambulance has him now," said William Hernandez one the many evacuees. "He was nauseous, headaches."

Some 60 people crowd the lawn, in front of Reyn Spooner on Alakawa Street, and try to pinpoint what that smell is.

"Gas and burning rubber," said evacuee Erlinda Juan. "And just like, you know, when the car is running. Something like that. It's all mixed up."

"They're working on the business next door, and they have some kind of diesel-operated machine," Hernandez said. "And the exhaust fumes are coming to our building."

However, firefighters were able to pickup a scent that was truly 'fowl.'

"Raw chicken," James Perkins, H.F.D. Battalion Chief, said. "When our HAZMAT people came here, they noticed the raw chicken smell. And that could be attributed to garbage being left out."

Members of the HAZMAT team suit up, and check for the presence of different chemicals in the air. Tests on the air quality in the main building, and the surrounding areas, came back normal. After about two hours, authorities gave the all-clear.

"We're not sure where it could have come from," Perkins said. "All the readings are normal. We let the business get back to work."

The workers return, armed with food. With the nauseating smell gone, "time for the lunch break," Juan said.

Paramedics assisted four people who complained of nausea and headaches. No one had to be taken to the hospital.