Air traffic controllers were in a room full of carbon monoxide. They were not allowed to leave. They felt their mental processes were impaired.
I believe that. Someone with a functioning mental set might have started vomiting when not allowed to leave. That is unusually convincing to supervisors. Someone on break might have hit the fire alarm. That, too, is a reasonable thing to do under the circumstances.
But to just let a supervisor do something criminal -- that I don't understand at all -- either the doing or the accepting.