More than 100 shoppers were quickly escorted out of Foodland Waipio Saturday morning. A hazardous leak prompted the evacuation.
Click here to watch Nana Ohkawa's report.
"I was checking out people and they said that we have to stop everything, and people that had items on the tray, they just left it," said cashier Charlene Ram.
"Everyone was asking what was going on. We never found out until 10 minutes after, when we were outside," said Kaleo Kalamau.
The cause for alarm was a leak of odorless gas refrigerant. Eight hundred pounds had somehow escaped to the back of the store. A small quantity was later discovered in the retail area. Refrigerant is used to cool appliances like freezers. When inhaled, the chemicals can cut off oxygen to the lungs.
"Refrigerant at this amount is considered a large spill and it can be an asphyxiated, so it displaces oxygen so it can be dangerous in large quantities," said Captain Paul Fukuda with the Honolulu Fire Department.
The HFD Hazmat team isolated the leak and used extra ventilation to clear the air.
"Two members of the Foodland staff were exposed but have no medical effects to the short term exposure," said Fukuda.
Crews contained the leak and the store re-opened about two hours later.
Fire officials say the Foodland manager had to fix the broken refrigerant last week.