Beaumont Middle School Carbon Monoxide Problems Blamed on Defective Boiler
Last week, a gas leak at a middle school in Beaumont, Texas caused at least 179 students, teachers and others inside the building to require treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning. This week the school has reopened, and the incident has been blamed on a faulty boiler that released high levels of the toxic gas.
Emergency personnel evacuated Marshall Middle School in Beaumont on Thursday, including nearly 800 students and about 70 staff, after individuals in the building began vomiting and fainting.
The school reopened today, after being closed Friday, and investigators indicate that the carbon monoxide leak was caused by a faulty gasket on a temporary boiler located outside of the building. The boiler passed inspection over the weekend and was checked again Monday morning.
The school did not have carbon monoxide detectors, which may have allowed students and teachers to detect the presence of the toxic gas before they suffered any injury. Although alarms are an effective method of detecting carbon monoxide, which has no scent, color, or other irritating factor, they are not required by the school district.
Carbon monoxide is a leading cause of fatal poisonings in the U.S. As a result of difficulty detecting a gas leaking, many people fail to promptly recognize symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, which typically start with lightheadedness or a headache.
While all of the victims of this exposure were treated and released, there is always a risk of long-term carbon monoxide injury that may not be immediately apparent.
As a result of prolonged exposure, individuals face a risk of brain damage from carbon monoxide gas, and in severe cases a leak may result in loss of consciousness or death.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, carbon monoxide poisoning kills about 500 people in the U.S. each year, and is linked to about 15,000 emergency room visits. In many cases, the injuries or deaths could have been prevented by the use of carbon monoxide detectors and proper maintenance of heating systems and generators.
MichelleFebruary 2, 2016 at 11:28 pm
My daughter was one of the students that were rushed and treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. Luckily she has started to feel slightly better and the incident didn't lead to an innocent death but she has been suffering with extreme headaches and stomachs pains for a couple months now. How do I know that this leak had not gone unnoticed for a while now and this whole time she had been suffering f[Show More]My daughter was one of the students that were rushed and treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. Luckily she has started to feel slightly better and the incident didn't lead to an innocent death but she has been suffering with extreme headaches and stomachs pains for a couple months now. How do I know that this leak had not gone unnoticed for a while now and this whole time she had been suffering from a low dose of monoxide poisoning? Also, as we were in the ER, all the other parents around us stated that their children have also been complaining of the same symptoms over the past couple of months. I've even taken my daughter a few times to try to get answers for her symptoms but never any answers. Please assist me on what can be done about this. I worry about any potential long term damage.
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