Asbestos exposure forces evacuation at Missouri nursing home

Bentonview Park Health and Rehab, a nursing home in Monett, Mo., was evacuated Jan. 22 after construction crews exposed asbestos, local NBC affiliate KSN reports. 

Construction crews exposed the asbestos while removing tiles, which prompted the evacuation of the facility's 57 residents. Some residents were transferred to other nursing homes temporarily while others were taken to a temporary shelter at the former Cox Monett Hospital. 

"The most important thing is we've gotten them out of the environment and we've gotten them to a safe, sanitary and secure location where we can keep them safe until the repairs can be made," David Compton, director of Barry County's Office of Emergency Management, told KSN. 

Based on estimates from cleaning crews, the emergency management office said it will take four to six weeks before it's safe for residents to return to the facility. 

"The health and safety of our residents and staff is our primary focus, and the decision to move the residents was made quickly and without incident," a Bentonview Park Health and Rehab spokesperson told local NBC affiliate KY3. "We look forward to the residents' return to Bentonview once the renovation is complete, and most importantly, we look forward to welcoming our residents and staff back to the community they know and love." 

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