At least 179 students and staff members at a southeast Texas middle school received hospital treatment after an apparent carbon monoxide leak, authorities said Thursday.
Beaumont emergency personnel said the children and adults from Marshall Middle School were being treated for non-life threatening injuries. Officials at Baptist Beaumont Hospital, Christus Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth Hospital and Victory Medical Center reported at least 109 patients from the school were treated for exposure to toxic. Officials said none of the patients were admitted.
“I saw it on the news, but at the same time I received a text and call from my daughter,” Amber Johnson told KHOU.com. “She kept me updated that they moved to the gym when they were being observed.”
Beaumont Fire-Rescue officials say paramedics were called around 10 a.m. after a student lost consciousness. Numerous students and faculty reported symptoms including nausea and headaches. Officials told KTRK-TV Houston they worked as fast as they could to evacuate more than 800 students and faculty.
Beaumont school district officials say the initial investigation shows there was a leak in a gas boiler. Officials said they’re unsure where the leak started and that state inspectors are expected to check out the boiler to see when it will be safe for everyone to re-enter the school, according to KHOU.com.
Beaumont school district canceled classes for the middle school on Friday.
“Beaumont ISD will take as much time as needed to ensure the building is safe for students and staff to return. Parents will be notified through all forms of media and the district’s phone messaging system regarding Monday’s school schedule,” school officials said in a statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.