Carbon monoxide leak in Canada, 43 students hospitalised

Des Decouvreurs was not equipped with a carbon detector

Carbon monoxide leak in Canada, 43 students hospitalised -

Montreal: On Monday, 35 children and 8 adults were hospitalised because of suspected carbon monoxide leak at a Montreal primary school, reported a local media. On Monday, a faulty heating system possibly caused a carbon monoxide leak that led to the poisoning of dozens of students and personnel at Des Decouvreurs elementary school in LaSalle borough of the city of Montreal, reported Head of Montreal Fire Department Francis Leduc.

The chief of Montreal's fire department explained that a bad connection in the school's heating system could have produced the leak and the presence of carbon monoxide was hard to detect because it is odourless. Moreover, Leduc added that unlike most of the schools, Des Decouvreurs was not equipped with a carbon detector.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said students at Ecole des Decouvreurs in the city's LaSalle neighbourhood reported nausea, dizziness and vomiting. The children who felt sick are between the ages of six and 13. Nine students were taken to a hospital after they lost consciousness, while others after felt nauseous, dizzy, and vomited, according to the report.

Quebec Health Minister Danielle McCann stated that there would be a thorough investigation, following the poisoning of the children and school staff. The elementary school will remain closed as the investigation is ongoing. 

The illness could be related to carbon monoxide poisoning but the cause has not been confirmed, said Stephane Smith of Urgences-Sante. In a letter to parents published online, the school administration raised the possibility of a problem ‘related to the heating system’.

None of the student was reported to be in serious condition.