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124 children affected by January gas leak that forced evacuation of Montreal school


Montreal public health officials say 124 children suffered symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning after a gas leak last January forced the evacuation of their elementary school.

The report published today by the Montreal public health authority reveals 24 of the students continued to show symptoms eight weeks after exposure. Those students were taken into the care of medical specialists, and the health authority did not follow up on the cases.

Report co-author Maxime Roy said it is unlikely the students will suffer permanent effects, which typically result from much more serious exposure.

Thirty-five students and eight school employees at Ecole des Decouvreurs in the city’s LaSalle neighbourhood were sent to hospital Jan. 14 following a carbon monoxide leak.

The city’s fire department said at the time carbon monoxide levels in the hallways of the school were as much as five times the level that usually triggers an evacuation.

Many of the students affected by the leak developed symptoms later and didn’t require immediate medical attention. Symptoms included headaches, hearing impairments such as tinnitus and anxiety.

Montreal health officials say they weren’t able to determine whether the school was equipped with a carbon monoxide detector at the time of the leak.

Copyright (c) 2019 The Canadian Press