July 30, 2009

Perfume set off gas leak worries

Texas firefighters said a suspected gas leak that sent 34 people to hospitals turned out to be caused by a spray of perfume and people's imaginations.

Lt. Kent Worley, a Fort Worth Fire Department spokesman, said two employees reported some dizziness in close association with someone spraying on some perfume Wednesday. A supervisor made an announcement over the building's PA system saying that anyone feeling these symptoms should exit the building to an outside location, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Thursday.

Worley said many reported the symptoms as a result of psychosomatic behavior, which medical experts often refer to as contagious fear, tied to the mistaken belief that a gas leak was to blame.

The building was declared safe by a hazardous materials team and more than a thousand people went back to work in the building.