Mystery Ailment at Call Center Sickens 130

FARMINGTON, MO - Investigators continue to look into what caused about 130 employees of an eastern Missouri call center to become ill.

All 338 workers on duty at ACCENT Marketing Services in Farmington were evacuated yesterday afternoon, and 130 were taken to hospitals complaining of breathing troubles and irritation to their eyes.  The center handles customer calls for Sprint Nextel Corporation.

Three workers were admitted to hospitals.  Investigators suspect contamination in the building's ventilation system and say work was done yesterday morning on the air-conditioning system.

ACCENT spokeswoman Stacy Spradling says it isn't clear when employees will return to work.  ACCENT, based in Jeffersonville, Indiana, opened its Farmington center in March of last year.

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