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Sixty-Three Taken To Hospital, Felled By ‘White Mist’

November 3, 1986

TURNERSVILLE, N.J. (AP) _ Sixty-three department store employees stricken by what one woman called a ″white mist″ were treated at a hospital as officials tried to determine what caused the sickness.

More than 200 shoppers and 47 Bradlees’ employees were evacuated from the Black Horse Pike store Sunday afternoon after workers in the front of the store near the restaurant began fainting, feeling dizzy and vomiting.

Gloucester County Health investigator Ken DiLuigi said officials suspected a release of freon, a gas used in refrigeration. Bradlees district managers declined to comment.

Food server Terri Labaczewski told the Courier-Post of Camden that she could not breathe in the restaurant.

″I saw a white mist floating in the air, but I didn’t smell anything,″ Ms. Labaczewski said. ″It got really hot in the store back by the grill. ... I sat down and then passed out.″

DiLuigi said samples of the air near the restaurant were sent to a laboratory for analysis. He said he did not know when the tests would be completed.

No customers required treatment, said Assistant Chief Howard Deveney of the Grenloch Fire Co.

The employee victims were released after treatment at Kennedy Memorial Hospital here, a nursing supervisor said today.

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