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Ambulances respond to 'mass casualty incident' at Exeter Hospital

Exeter Hospital in Exeter N.H

A hospital in the USA state of New Hampshire has been evacuated after operating room staff complained of nausea due to an "unknown odour".

The odor sickened 17 staff members in the operating room, who complained of nausea and dizziness.

The hospital's emergency room was evacuated as a precaution because it was located nearby, but no patients or staff there reported any symptoms, CBS reported.

Video from Sky7 showed a large staging area outside the hospital with several people on stretchers undergoing treatment.

State and local officials are still working to determine a cause.

The number of patients increased to about 20 as the morning went on and the emergency department and operating room were closed out an "abundance of caution", Deb Vasapoli told Boston 25 News.

Calls for assistance were made at about 11:15 am. The Epping Fire Department was sent to check out the area for carbon monoxide, but the exact cause was not confirmed Friday afternoon. More and more patients began having similar symptoms, she said.