Food vendors and restaurant operators at one of Oslo’s most popular new meeting places, Mathallen, were in the process of getting back to business on Wednesday, after firefighters and a large crew of investigators finally found the source of a gas leak at the site and stopped it.
The gas leak, which sickened four security guards over the weekend, forced the closure of Mathallen in the midst of a special Danish food festival. Emergency crews had a hard time finding its source and identifying the gas itself.
Fire brigade chief Jan Erik Andersen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that it turned out to be ozone gas leaking from a ventilation system in the building, which was one of many former factory locations in the historic area along the Aker River in Oslo. The gas can be poisonous in large quantities, he said, and the four security guards on duty after closing hours on Saturday were sent to Ullevål University Hospital for treatment.
Vendors selling specialty foods inside the food hall had to throw out otherwise fresh food that was lying out during the gas leak. Andersen said Mathallen was now “completely safe” and could reopen on Wednesday.