MOBERLY, Mo. - Three aviation mechanics were rushed to a hospital after they were overcome with carbon monoxide poisoning at a hangar at the Omar Bradley Regional Airport in Moberly, Mo Tuesday. Moberly Police Chief Troy Link said an initial investigation determined the carbon monoxide came from the hanger’s heater.
“We determined what we believe was the source of that carbon monoxide and it was a heater inside the structure itself,” said Link.
He said it was too soon in the investigation to determine why the heater malfunctioned. Link said two of the victims were alive but unresponsive when they were transported to the hospital and a third victim was conscious and talking to first responders but passed out soon after they arrived. The two more serious patients were from the St. Louis-area, according to the police chief.
The three men were identified as 29-year-old Arron James Herring of St. Louis, 27-year-old Matthew Gregory Trani II of St. Charles, and 25-year-old Wren Allen Johannaber of Huntsville.
Link said it’s believed a 29-year-old is from St. Louis and a 27-year-old is from St. Charles.
Carbon Monoxide can be deadly in an enclosed area. Andy Stecko is a firefighter and paramedic with Central County Fire. He says the best ways to stay safe are first making sure you’re the heating source is working properly and then secondly to install working carbon monoxide detectors.
He said even in a space the size of an airport hangar or a firehouse bay there could be problems. He pointed to the heating system inside the engine house three in St. Peters.
“If one of those vents would be clogged by snow, if they would fail, if they would rust in an area and would be putting those gases, they would be CO into the engine bay here,” said Stecko.
He said it doesn’t matter which room you install a carbon monoxide detector. The important thing is that you can hear the detector no matter where you are in the house. He said in some cases that means installing detectors in several rooms.