UPDATE: Carbon Monoxide Leak Sends More Than 150 People to Hospitals

GIRARD - According to school board members, more than 150 North Mac students and staff members in Girard were sent to various hospitals after they became ill because of a carbon monoxide leak.

North Mac school superintendent Marica Cullen said, the affected students were conscious and talking as they were taken away in ambulances. Cullen added that the school was evacuated at about 8:45 a.m., and at 9:50 a.m. a Sky Alert was initiated to notify parents. She said, it takes their system 15-20 minutes to complete the call list.

Liberty Utilities arrived on scene to turn off the gas, although no gas leak was identified.  Personnel remained on site to evaluate the buildings, and high levels of carbon monoxide were confined to the north section of the middle school.  

On Tuesday, two health inspectors monitored the schools, and air quality consultant took tests. The leak came from a broken pipe in the boiler room and a repair was made. School board members wanted to make sure the leak was coming from the break in the pipe, so a crew experimented with the repair and fixed it for a second time. After that the carbon monoxide reading came back as a zero.

North Mac Schools will be closed on Wednesday, September 17. On Wednesday, temporary CO detectors will be properly installed until a more permanent system is purchased. 

Teachers will receive a new lesson plan on Wednesday, counselors will be available for students, and there will be care dogs for the younger students.

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