Bucks County Church Evacuated Due to Fumes


Unidentified fumes at St. Cyril's Church of Jerusalem in Warwick, Pa. sickened 16 parishioners and emergency responders Sunday morning.

Bucks County officials are calling this a "mass casualty" incident.

A call was placed to emergency services around 9:40 a.m. reporting people fainting at the church on Almshouse Road. Police, fire officials, and hazmat teams quickly responded to the scence. Members of the first response crew that entered the church were also sickened by the fumes.

The county labeled the event "code yellow," requiring additional emergency workers.

The church had been filling up with people who had come for the 10 a.m. service. There were about 300 people inside the church at the time of the incident. While emergency responders went to work, churchgoers held Mass outside on the church parking lot.

"We thought since the weather is decent we'd have services outside," Msgr. Robert Powell said. "We didn't expect this but we dealt with it."

The cause of the illness has not yet been determined. Those who fell ill underwent blood test, and have been taken to Doylestown and Abington hospitals. There are no fatalities.

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