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Freon leak at New Jersey Costco sickens 20 employees, triggers evacuation

About 20 staff members complained of headaches and nausea after the leak, Hazlet Township police said.

A New Jersey Costco was evacuated Wednesday after a Freon leak inside the store that sickened about 20 staff members, police said. 

Hazlet Township police received a report from the store around 6:45 a.m. Wednesday about a leak of Freon, a gas used as a refrigerant in air conditioning, the police department said in a statement on Facebook.

Exposure to Freon and other refrigerants can cause dizziness and tremors, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

The store's opening was delayed, and staffers tried to ventilate the store.

Another call came from the store at 9:30 a.m. about “an estimated 20 employees complaining of headaches and nausea.” Officers evacuated all staff members. 

The Monmouth County Hazmat team, the Monmouth County EMS Task Force and other agencies were called in to assist.

The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office said four people were treated at a hospital. 

The store will be closed until further notice. 

“We thank all of our public safety partners for their quick response to this situation and wish all staff that was affected a quick recovery,” Hazlet Township police said.