A total of 30 students in Springfield, Minn., were taken to the hospital with symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning after a suspected gas leak forced the evacuation of the school Thursday morning.
Although firefighters conducted tests in the school building, an exact
cause of the mass illness could not be found. Crews did not find any
elevated gas levels in the structure and professional readings for
carbon monoxide have been negative.
Police were called to the Springfield Public School at 9:30 a.m. on reports of students passing out and throwing up in the auditorium while practicing for a choir concert. A 5th grade student told Fox 9 News his head and stomach hurt, but he started to feel better after he was given oxygen at the hospital.
Two students remained at the Mayo Clinic Health System hospital late Thursday afternoon. Shortly before 8 p.m., Fox 9 News confirmed the last child had been released from the hospital.
All other students, teachers and staff were taken to the Springfield Community Center, where children who didn't need medical attention were released to their parents.
Springfield is about 2 hours southwest of the Twin Cities and just west of Mankato. The school will remain closed on Friday even though the all-clear was given Thursday so that the investigation can continue.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CO POISONING?
Since the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can mimic other common illnesses, but common signs include:
- A dull headache
- Shortness of breath
- Blurred vision
Anyone who suspects their health may be negatively impacted by elevated carbon monoxide levels should immediately seek fresh air, opening windows and doors on the way out when possible.
Carbon monoxide detectors are also a low-cost way to stay safe by ensuring an alert will sound if gas levels have become hazardous.