Smoke in W.Va. school sends 37 people to hospitals

AP News
Posted: Dec 06, 2013 2:41 PM

TUNNELTON, W.Va. (AP) — Authorities in West Virginia say 37 people have been taken to hospitals after smoke from a furnace at a nearby business drifted into an elementary school's ventilation system.

Preston County schools Assistant Superintendent Craig Schmidl says classes were dismissed Friday at Tunnelton-Denver Elementary School outside Morgantown.

He says a nearby auto repair shop uses an outside furnace as a heating source and that smoke from it got pulled into the school's ventilation system, including nearby modular units.

The Preston County emergency services office says 37 people were taken to four hospitals. A news release says some students reported having trouble breathing.

State Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Tom Aluise says an air quality inspector is being sent to the school.