UPDATE: 2:11 p.m.
Two people who were exposed to an unknown type of fumes at a Banning strip mall were hospitalized today and businesses were evacuated while investigators tried unsuccessfully to find the source of the odor.
Around noon, employees and customers at the mall, 3055 W. Ramsey St., complained that a strong odor was making them ill. The odor was originally thought to be a natural gas leak, but a Gas Company spokesman said there was no leak.
“We performed various inspections, and there was no indication of a gas leak,” Raul Gordillo told City News Service.
The Riverside County Fire Department sent five engine crews – numbering around two-dozen firefighters — to the scene to investigate. The immediate premises were evacuated as a hazardous materials team tried to isolate the source of the fumes, which could never be identified.
Seven people were treated for exposure-related illness, and two of them were transported to San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital for further examination, according to the fire department.
The evacuation order was lifted around 1 p.m.
One person was hospitalized with minor injuries and several business were evacuated today because of a natural gas leak at a Banning doctor’s office.
Six other people were treated at the scene for shortness of breath following the 11:13 a.m. leak, according to Cheri Patterson of Cal Fire.
The leak occurred at the office of Dr. Cameron Kaiser, 3055 W. Ramsey St., near the intersection of North Sunset Avenue, Patterson said.
Hazardous-materials and environmental-health teams also responded to the scene, Patterson said.