Twelve sent to hospitals after exposure to suspicious odor at Palo Alto hotel


Twelve people exposed to a suspicious chemical odor at a hotel in Palo Alto were hospitalized Thursday night.

Palo Alto fire officials responded to the Westin Hotel on El Camino Real to a report of an odor coming from the hotel's parking garage.

A hazardous materials team was called to the hotel, but investigators were not able to determine the cause of the irritant, according to fire officials.

The scene was cleared shortly after midnight, and fire officials said it appears the irritant was vented out of the garage and had dissipated.

Eight patients were transported to Stanford Medical Center, and four patients were transported to El Camino Hospital for treatment, officials said.

The garage and first floor of the hotel were evacuated, but hotel guests on the third and fourth floors were asked to shelter in place while hazardous materials teams from Palo Alto and Mountain View investigated the incident.

The hotel's HVAC system was turned off to ensure the odor wouldn't travel through the upper floors, fire officials said.

Fire officials first reported the incident Thursday 10:37 p.m.

— Bay City News Service

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1 person likes this
Posted by Mark
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 30, 2015 at 8:26 am

Palo Alto Fire Department still has a Hazardous Materials team?

5 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 30, 2015 at 8:58 am

Rancid? Acidic? Noxious? Solvent-smelling? Decay-smelling? Someone messing with stink bombs? Tear gas?

4 people like this
Posted by Tomas
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 30, 2015 at 9:17 am

Yesterday's news tomorrow.

2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2015 at 11:43 am

The local tv stations were reporting this last night.

I would not be surprised if this was something Hallowe'en related.

2 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 30, 2015 at 12:39 pm

Found out from (news page) that it was a "chemical" smell and that people were complaining of respiratory irritation. I am happily surprised to learn our City page is more informative than all the news sites on this story.

Like this comment
Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Nov 1, 2015 at 10:50 pm


"I would not be surprised if this was something Hallowe'en related."

Doesn't make sense. The incident occurred on Thursday night in a business hotel that probably costs $350/night rack rate.

Like this comment
Posted by @Reader
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Nov 2, 2015 at 11:50 am

Factor-of-two low on rack rate, plus 14%.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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