Students sickened, carbon monoxide leak suspected

AP News
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Posted: Sep 15, 2014 6:53 PM
Students sickened, carbon monoxide leak suspected

GIRARD, Ill. (AP) — More than 130 Illinois middle school students and adults were sent to hospitals Monday after becoming ill because of a carbon monoxide leak caused by a faulty furnace flue, school district and fire officials said.

Several students at North Mac Intermediate School in Girard complained about feeling nauseated, but all were conscious and talking as they were taken away in ambulances, Superintendent Marica Cullen said.

The source of the leak was a flue that came loose on a gas-powered boiler, and repairs have been made, school board member Terri Worth said. Officials said the gas was shut off and the building was being aired out.

Girard is a central Illinois city about 25 miles south of Springfield.

At least three students were admitted to St. John's Hospital in Springfield, but most were discharged or under evaluation, a hospital spokeswoman told the State Journal Register in Springfield. Students also were transported to two other local hospitals.

Students not taken to local hospitals were taken to nearby churches where they were being monitored for signs of illness, authorities said.