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People question why truck was spraying substance into the air

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HAMMOND - Some people staying at a hotel are confused about why a tanker truck was releasing gas into the air in a parking lot.

"It sounded as if it was an airplane crashing, extremely loud, high decibel level," Jeffrey Hines said.  He was staying at the hotel off I-55 when he "was awakened at about 2 o'clock in the morning."

"[The truck driver] started from [the other end of the lot] and he was venting all the way to the red light," Steve Spell II said. He recorded video of the Wednesday morning scene.

"I was short of breath; I had a headache," he added.

Hines said, "I didn't know what happened to the oxygen level... It was weird."

The truck was hauling carbon dioxide, the same thing we release when we exhale, and the process was equalizing the pressure inside the tank.

But after watching Spell's video, La. State Police say the trucker could have been pulled over if this happened on a highway.

State law forbids the release of hazardous chemicals within 500 feet of an inhabited building. But carbon dioxide is not considered hazardous.

Although in high exposures, carbon dioxide can cause convulsions, coma and even death.

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