School Remains Closed After Carbon Monoxide Sickens Students,Sta - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

School Remains Closed After Carbon Monoxide Sickens Students,Staff

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NASHVILLE, Tenn- Students at Drexel Prep won't return to school until Thursday at the earliest, after carbon monoxide sickened dozens of teachers and staff. Forty Drexel Prep students were admitted to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital after being exposed to the colorless, odorless gas leaking from a heating unit.

Monday, administrators closed school early and sent students home after dozens showed what was then believed to be flu like symptoms.

"When I found out it was carbon monoxide I was scared," parent Akendra Carney said. "All I can keep going back to is I can't afford to lose another family member right now."

"The central unit, it blew and there holes in it, three holes developed in it," elementary school Principal Cheryl Bowman said. "And because of those holes it was emitting carbon monoxide into the building."

Putting the five kindergarten and first grade classes at risk. By the evening, one-by-one parents started flooding the emergency room.

"We see a lot of carbon monoxide. It's one of the most frequent…toxins that we see. Especially in the winter time," Dr. Donna Seger, Medical Director of the Tennessee Poison Control Center said. "We're 24 hours out from the exposure. You know nobody is going to die from it or be in the [intensive care unit] from it or anything like that. We just want to make sure everybody is doing ok."

Meanwhile back at Drexel, crews are shampooing carpets, ventilating and checking the carbon monoxide levels in the building. Akendra Carney wonders if that's enough, to make it safe for her son Taetum to return to school.

"I don't know because I'm still like, is it cleared out. Is it clean? Is it safe," she said.


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