Page last updated at 03:48 GMT, Thursday, 30 July 2009 04:48 UK

Perfume spritz sparks mass exit

A bottle of perfume
It is not known which kind of perfume was to blame

Thirty-four people went to hospital and dozens were treated for sickness after strong perfume was sprayed by a woman in a Texas bank.

Two workers initially complained of having chest pains and headaches.

The bank then announced that anyone who felt ill should leave the building, prompting around 150 people to take up the offer.

Twelve people were taken to hospital by ambulance, after they complained of feeling short of breath and dizzy.

"When the two employees reported their illness to a supervisor, an announcement was made over the building's PA system saying that anyone feeling these symptoms should exit the building," fire department spokesman Kent Worley said, according to a local newspaper report.

Emergency services initially feared that there may have been a leak of carbon monoxide but having checked the building, decided that a strong perfume was to blame.

Investigators do not know what kind of perfume was sprayed.

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