Emergency personnel responded to the Market Basket in Rowley on Thursday afternoon for a report of an unknown gas leak, police and fire officials said in a release, referring to the situation as a “Tier 1 Hazmat incident.”
The call came in at about 3 p.m., and the entire strip mall where the supermarket is located on Newburyport Turnpike was evacuated and closed indefinitely.
Eight people were taken to hospitals, and over 50 were evaluated at the scene for respiratory issues, according to authorities.
“A state HazMat team responded to the Market Basket in Rowley this afternoon for reports of an odor of gas,” Jennifer Mieth, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Fire Services, said in an email. “They have identified a refrigerant leak in a freezer as the source and are working on mitigating the situation.”
She said she was aware of four people being transported to hospitals, “all of whom [were] reported to be doing well.”
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