Methane fears at Pontiac postal center after 5 workers die in 14 months

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Five workers dead in 14 months, now fear is growing at the U.S. Postal Service Michigan Metroplex Procession and Distribution Center in Pontiac.

Officials are pointing to a faulty methane detection system while employees at the Pontiac facility are demanding answers.

Marlon Harris, local president of the Mail Hauler's Union, said that the five workers died unexpectedly on the grounds.

"We also have a lot of people concerned with headaches, some people with coughs," said Marlon Harris, local president of the Mail Hauler's Union. "We just want these concerns addressed."

According to a report by the U.S. Postal Services Inspector General, there are problems with the building's methane detection system, something that may have caused these deaths.

The report says, detectors at the metroplex have not been properly functioning since March of 2015.

"These people didn't go home or go to the hospital," said employee Patricia Wilkerson. "They actually died on the premises here. To see people get carried out in that fashion is disheartening."

The mailing center is located on the former site of a vehicle manufacturing plant which included a foundry. At this time there is no confirmation of this being the source of any toxic fumes, or the cause of these deaths.

The U.S. Postal Service said in a statement:

"While the Postal Service agreed with the recommendations in the OIG’s report, the Postal Service emphasized that there was never any health or safety threat to employees at the Michigan Metroplex."

They also say they are working on getting that detection system fixed or replaced, and working with their 1,200 employees as the investigation moves forward.