A “mass casualty” incident at the Market Basket in Rindge, New Hampshire on Sunday night appears to be all injuries and no deaths.
Though “casualty” typically means death, it is increasingly being used to describe a combination of deaths and injuries, or even just injuries.
The Keene Fire Department told NECN that nobody’s dead. The department said multiple victims are suffering from “air quality issues.”
The Southwestern New Hampshire District Fire Mutual Aid originally told WMUR that it is a mass casualty incident, sparking confusion from locals who accused the media outlet of blowing up the story to be bigger than it actually is. In the end, 10 people were hospitalized, reported the Sentinel Source.
An employee at Market Basket on Route 202 said that she and her fellow employees were preparing to do inventory in the backroom when people started dropping to the floor.
People were taken to Monadnock Community Hospital, Heywood Hospital in Gardner, and Cheshire Medical Center.
The grocery store was evacuated.
Thomas Kokernak via Twitter claims that multiple victims were exposed to R22 refrigerant, without citing any sources.
One commentor on WMUR’s article explained the “mass casualty” term: “The term Mass Casualty Incident means that the number of patients exceeds the capacity of the local agency. In many small towns that could be as few as three patients with any type of life threatening condition.”
But another commentor added: “Whatever the technical term actually means, most Americans think of ‘mass casualty incident’ as either a horrible accident or terrorist attack resulting in death.”
Ambulances from Jaffrey, Rindge, Fitswilliam, Peterborough and Winchedon, Mass. (a total of 14 units) were dispatched to the scene.
A hazmat team from Keene also responded.
Story developing; check back for updates