• Some affected partygoers flagged down a police vehicle
  • Those affected appeared dizzy and incoherent
  • Portable generators were suspected of causing the poisoning

At least 25 attendees of a rave in an underground bunker in Norway’s capital of Oslo were taken to hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning Sunday.

The location was discovered after a group of affected young people flagged down a police car, and several others emerged from a bunker asking for medical attention. The people appeared dizzy and incoherent.

Of the 25 people who were affected, five were in critical but not life-threatening condition and were rushed to a hospital. Many of the patients were young, between the ages of 20 and 30, according to Norwegian daily Aftenposten. Portable generators were suspected to have caused the poisoning.

Two victims were reportedly police officers attending to those affected. “Fortunately, they are all improving. We can say that they are out of danger,” chief physician Fridtjof Heyerdahl at Oslo University Hospital told the publication.

Oslo police said about 200 people were attending the party, with neither the participants nor the organizers realizing using a diesel generator in a confined space could prove dangerous, Oslo police wrote on Twitter. Authorities urged other attendees to call for medical help in case they begin to feel nausea, headaches, or dizziness.

It wasn’t immediately clear who organized the party but police said the attendees entered the bunker illegally.

A man who attended the party and left before police arrived told the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation that as more people arrived during the night, the air quality inside the bunker began to get poorer and he exited it on numerous occasions for fresh air. The man, who was not identified, said several parties were arranged at the bunker over the past few months, and this one far surpassed the others in terms of the number of attendees and generators.

“It was a rave party in honour of someone who had a birthday,” Arve Røtterud with the Oslo police told the VG newspaper. “Carbon monoxide poisoning should be taken seriously, and several there were under the influence of drugs when they left.”

Ronny Andersen, an official with the fire department, told the publication the partygoers had brought in several portable generator units, with the oxygen level in the cave as low as 16%. Andersen said the cave is approximately 70 meters deep and shaped like an 'E,’ and noted that it was built as an air-raid bunker. The incident remains under investigation.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that can prove fatal if inhaled in high levels, according to Harvard Medical School. It can emanate from cars, trucks, small gasoline engines, and other domestic equipment such as stoves, lanterns, furnaces, grills, gas ranges, water heaters and clothes dryers. The risk of poisoning is typically high when the equipment is used in an enclosed place and ventilation is poor.

Crowds packed out a water park over the weekend in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged late last year, keen to party as the city edges back to normal life. The popular Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park was filled with people
Representational image of a party. AFPTV / STR