JEFFERSON HILLS (KDKA) — Officials with Jefferson Regional Medical Center say nine people were treated after falling ill and part of a medical complex was evacuated because of an unknown odor.

It was late morning when a bad odor made its way through the fifth floor of the annex of the South Hills Medical office building in Jefferson Hills.

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Hazmat specialists were called to check it out, and the building was evacuated as a precaution.

Ophthalmologist Dr. Thomas Findlan has his office on the fourth floor.

“We were in my office, and apparently there was some odor up in one of the higher floors, and I assume patients got sick, and they went to the ER, and then they evacuated my floor as well,” said Dr. Findlan.

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A hospital spokesperson says Allegheny County experts spent a good part of the afternoon trying to figure out what happened.

She says everything that was done this afternoon was done out of an abundance of caution.

“Approximately 11 a.m. this morning, some medical staff on the annex of the fifth floor of the South Hills Medical Building – which is basically doctors’ offices, and it’s a building adjacent to the Jefferson Hospital on the Jefferson Hills campus – some of the workers experienced a pungent odor and were exhibiting some dizziness and feeling nauseated so they went to the emergency department,” Candy Williams, hospital spokesperson, said. “They went there by themselves. They were a able to walk across the campus to the ER, and they were being observed for the symptoms.”

Hospital operations were never affected. And patients with doctors’ appointments in the affected building were advised to reschedule today’s appointment.

“Patient care is not affected. We’re still accepting patients and patients are not being affected at all,” Williams added. “The area was cordoned off and the county Hazmat is testing the air quality right now to determine what the odor came from.”

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