Officials: Cyanide eyed as cause of man collapsing

MANORHAVEN - Nassau officials converged on a jewelry store in Manorhaven this morning after receiving reports that a man collapsed there after possible exposure to cyanide.

Click on the "NEXT" button under the video player to watch Chopper 12 footage from the scene.According to officials, the 51-year-old victim was taken to St. Francis Hospital after having some kind of allergic reaction while cleaning jewelry at the Spellbound Fine Jewelry Store on Manorhaven Boulevard.

Hospital officials informed the fire department that one of the doctors thought the patient may have been exposed to cyanide. Officials say cyanide is common in jewelry manufacturing, but could be deadly in high concentrations.

"It only takes a very small amount of this product to become a hazard if it's handled improperly," said Vinny McMannus, of the Nassau Fire Marshal's Office.

Hazmat crews returned to the scene to make sure no one else was exposed to the hazardous material. They say they closed three small bottles of cyanide that were open inside the store and tested the entire building for signs of contamination.

Firefighters evacuated two apartments above the jewelry store and closed off about two blocks of Manorhaven Boulevard for most of the morning as a precaution.

Officials say the victim is recovering, but is in the hospital under observation.

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