COPENHAGEN, Denmark - At least 27 people were hospitalized after being poisoned at a rave party in Oslo by carbon monoxide given off by portable generators, Norwegian media reported. Police said Monday that two people faced preliminary charges of trespassing and illegally being inside a bunker.
Five people were hospitalized in critical condition — including two police officers who were the first at the scene — but their lives are not in danger, the Norwegian news agency NTB said. Two of the five were released from intensive care on Monday, NTB reported.
More people could face preliminary charges, police said, adding that the weekend rave is still being investigated. Preliminary charges are a step short of formal charges.
Up to 200 party-goers in their 20s and 30s had gathered in the bunker in the Norwegian capital for the rave, which used portable diesel generators to power lighting and sound systems.
Officers discovered the event early Sunday when a police patrol met a group of confused young people in the park where the bunkers lies. Emergency services found seven more people unconscious in the bunker.
The party started late Saturday night and had been announced on closed social media pages.
The company that owns the bunker described the illegal rave as a “serious break-in” and insisted that it did not bear any responsibility, Norway’s VG newspaper reported. The entrance to the bunker had been previously closed with double-reinforced concrete but the new owners only secured it with wooden boards.
The organizers later said the diesel generators were in a room with ventilation but neither police nor the fire department could confirm that. Several who attended told Norwegian media that they had to go outside several times to breathe fresh air.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas produced by burning carbon-based fuels, including gas, oil, wood and coal. The gas is harmful because it displaces oxygen from red blood cells, resulting in damage to major organs.
Exposure can cause headache, dizziness, nausea, coughing, breathing problems and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. In some cases it can be fatal.