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Tacoma Store Evacuated


About 200 people were evacuated from a Fred Meyer store near Cheney Stadium on Friday after some began having trouble breathing. Twenty-seven people were taken to hospitals as a precaution.

The store, by Washington 16 about three miles southeast of the Tacoma Narrows bridge, was cordoned off after some employees and customers started coughing and feeling nauseous about 1:30 p.m., assistant fire chief Jeff Jensen said.

Seventeen people were taken to Tacoma General Hospital and five each to St. Joseph and Allenmore hospitals. All were checked, treated and released, hospital officials said.

A hazardous materials team was not immediately able to determine the source of the problem, but investigators were looking into the possibility that a small amount of coolant might have leaked from a soft-drink machine that had been pushed against a door near the store entrance, Jensen said.

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