Dozens Hospitalized After Carbon Monoxide Leak at Utah Elementary School
(SALT LAKE CITY) -- Kids and teachers became dizzy and passed out from carbon monoxide poisoning that forced the evacuation of an elementary school in rural southeastern Utah Monday. Emergency crews responded to calls from Montezuma Creek Elementary School of the San Juan School District, reporting carbon monoxide odors. School maintenance workers found "problems associated with a water heater and the exhaust system," according to a press release.
County Spokesman Rick Bailey said Monday that a water heater pipe broke and was sending the gas into the school instead of venting it outside. Officials estimate 280 students and faculty were in the building at the time of the carbon monoxide leak that closed the school Monday. A total of 25 students and adults were transported to area hospitals, including one adult who is still in critical condition.
San Juan Schools Superintendent Douglas Wright admits the school had no carbon monoxide detectors. "It's my understanding that it is not a state requirement, but we will be addressing that in the future," he said.
The school plans to be open Tuesday morning with all classes returning to their usual schedule.
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