31 hospitalized after carbon monoxide leak at Atlanta school
Finch Elementary School in Atlanta, Ga. was evacuated on Dec. 3, 2012 after firefighters discovered a carbon monoxide leak from the school's furnace. / WGCL
ATLANTA A carbon monoxide leak in an Atlanta elementary school has led to the evacuation of 500 students and the hospitalization of 31 others.
Atlanta fire Capt. Marian McDaniel told The Associated Press that firefighters responded to Finch Elementary School, on the city's southwest side, shortly after 8 a.m. after reports came in that people were unconscious at the school. McDaniel said firefighters found people sickened, but no one was unconscious. In total, 29 students, a teacher and a cafeteria worker were taken to local hospitals.
The firefighters detected high and unsafe levels of carbon monoxide near a furnace. Firefighters detected up to 1,700 parts per million of carbon monoxide in certain areas, which McDaniel called a very high level of the gas.
"It was one of the highest we've seen," she said.
The students were taken to Children's at Hughes Spalding in downtown Atlanta and the adults were taken to Atlanta Medical Center, according to CBS affiliate WGCL in Atlanta, Ga. None of the symptoms were life-threatening, but they were serious enough that they warranted further medical attention.
Other students from the school were taken to Brown Middle School for the rest of the day, and were being released to their parents, Atlanta Public Schools said in a statement.
Firefighters were ventilating the school in an attempt to reduce the amount of carbon monoxide, McDaniel said. Fire official Tony McNary confirmed to WGCL that the school didn't have carbon monoxide detectors.
For more on the story, watch WGCL's coverage below:
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