A “mysterious illness” that caused nausea, vomiting, and upper respiratory issues caused the evacuation and shut down of an entire Wal-Mart shopping center in Pennsylvania on Saturday, and officials still have no idea what caused the strange event.
Firefighters from Center Township were called to the store at around 7:00 PM on Saturday after both employees and customers began vomiting and having trouble breathing. Wal-Mart employees believed the cause of the odd event was emanating from the grocery section, roping it off from customers before the sickness began overtaking the rest of the store.
Center Twp. Fire Chief Bill Brucker mentioned feeling his airways close up when called to investigate, but couldn’t explain it.
“I wasn’t back there long before I started to feel something in my throat,” Brucker told the Beaver County Times. “I couldn’t pinpoint a smell or a cause, though.”
At least two customers were affected so badly that they were rushed to the hospital in ambulances, with at least another three driven by car.
When the firefighter’s own air quality tests didn’t turn up anything odd, they called in the county’s hazmat team who also came up empty handed, though Brucker wondered if that might have anything to do with the fact that the store’s air conditioning had been reversed to filter the air by the time the team had arrived.
As of now, the store has been re-opened without any further incidents of unexplained sicknesses, Wal-Mart has not issued a statement, and no medical test results from those who fell ill have been released.
“I don’t know if we’ll ever find out the cause,” Brucker said.
Could it have been the result mutant-irradiated meat sold at low, low prices? Perhaps a secret government weapon tested on the unknowing masses? Vengeance from the spirits of the Native American burial ground sitting below the foundations of the Wal-Mart Supercenter? Who knows, but I think one online commenter is on to something: