Drexel Academy Students Treated For Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
(Image credit: Drexel Preparatory Academy)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Dozens of students from Drexel Preparatory Academy remain in the hospital Tuesday morning after being exposed to carbon monoxide.
The Whites Creek school closed early Monday after students became ill.
"Seemingly experiencing flu like symptoms, they didn't feel well. We asked them a litany of questions that we always ask. Your stomach hurt, whatever, whatever," said Drexel principal Cheryl Bowman.
By the time 20 students came to the office, administrators knew they were dealing with a bigger issue.
"Maybe it was something in the school that was going on. We know the flu has been running rampant across the southeast, so we made the decision we would close the school at half day," Bowman said.
After students were sent home for the day, school administrators received a call from Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.
"We got several calls from Vanderbilt Hospital saying several of our students had come in and they had high levels of carbon monoxide," according to Bowman.
As of Tuesday morning, officials with Vanderbilt said 40 students remained in the hospital for treatment and observation.
Principal Bowman said a repair crew found a hole in the heating unit that services the middle portion of the school building. That is the area that houses Drexel's kindergarten and first grade classes.
The part needed to fix the heating system will arrive Tuesday, and the school will remain closed until it is fixed.
"Check the levels once again to make sure they are in compliance with what's regulatory and then be ready for school on Wednesday," Bowman said.
The affected section of Drexel Prep did not have a carbon monoxide detector.