Automatic fire suppression system knocks man unconscious in Breda

Fire department in Haaglanden
A fire department commanding officer's vehicle in the Haaglanden region. June 7, 2019cakifotoDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

With reporting by Jamie de Geir.

One man was rushed to the hospital on Monday after an automatic fire suppression system was triggered in an indoor car park, choking off the victim's oxygen supply, emergency services providers confirm to NL Times. There was no fire in the building when the automatic system activated, causing the man to breathe in an abundance of the carbon dioxide gas used in the installation.

First responders were dispatched to the scene shortly after 8:15 a.m. A trauma team was also sent by helicopter less than ten minutes later.

The man was found unconscious in the garage underneath an apartment building on the Markendaalseweg. He required artificial resuscitation, and was then transported to an area hospital. He was responsive to paramedics during the ambulance ride, according to Omroep Brabant.

Authorities were unwilling to provide an update on the victim's condition later Monday afternoon.

He was found in area of the automated parking garage where residents leave their vehicles on a machine which then stores the vehicle. The fire extinguishing system is installed there, where people have limited ability to access the area, the broadcaster reports.

Such systems are capable of dispensing enough carbon dioxide that an affected person could lose consciousness within 30 seconds, the broadcaster adds.

Fire department crews were present in the area for hours after the incident. The fire suppression system was being investigated by authorities, a Midden-West Brabant regional spokesperson says. It was taken offline until further notice.