More than a dozen sick from bed bug spray in NYC building

By Stephanie Pagones and Cedar Attanasio

 

More than a dozen people were sickened Thursday by fumes caused by an exterminator treating for bed bugs at a Lower Manhattan government building, authorities said.

The 17 stricken victims — some of whom were vomiting — had inhaled the noxious fumes shortly after 11 a.m. inside the David N. Dinkins Manhattan Municipal Building at 1 Centre Street, an FDNY spokesman said.

“We had people passing out and throwing up all over the place,” said a female employee of the Controller’s Office, Bureau of Accountancy, who asked that her name not be used.

She said the problem originated in her office, and that about half of her co-workers were made sick.

Of the 17 victims, 14 were treated at the scene. Three people were taken to NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital for further evaluation, the fire department spokesman said.

The exterminator was treating bed bugs that were discovered last week, police said.

“They’ve been exterminating but now they found more bugs Monday and Wednesday so they exterminated a lot,” the Bureau of Accountancy employee said.

It’s the second wave of pests to plague the office, according to employees.

The bed bugs were discovered in April, during an ongoing battle against mites that were discovered in September 2017.

“The mites and now the bed bugs,” said Gary, a city employee on same floor, who gave only his first name. “They exterminate and exterminate and it don’t do anything because they need to get rid of the rug.”

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