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Carbon monoxide poisoning at LaSalle Primary School sends 43 students, staff to the hospital

Montreal Fire Operations chief Francis Leduc says the defective heating system at Des Decouvreurs Primary School in LaSalle proves to be a source of toxic gas that has caused dozens of patients.

The first respondents took 35 sick children and eight adults to at least three Montreal hospitals – Montreal Children's and Sainte-Justine Hospitals, as well as Royal Victoria Hospital.

Sick children are between six and 13 years of age.

"It was nausea, vomiting and dizziness," said Urgences-Santé spokeswoman François Labelle.

The Des Decouvreurs School, located on 39th Avenue near Riverside Park, was evacuated soon after the call 911 came from school at 11:12 am and children who were not sick were transferred to Notre-Dame-des-Rapids School, about 44 meters from hotel.

The Des Decouvreurs school is closed while the incident investigation continues.

CO detector missing or faulty?

According to Leduc, carbon monoxide could escape from bad connections in the school's heating system. He said that such a defect is unusual and because carbon monoxide is odor, its presence can be hard to detect.

Leduc said that most schools are equipped with carbon monoxide detectors and the Des Decouvreurs elementary school was not.

Marguerite Bourgeoys School Board Speaker, Gina Guillemette, denied it.

Guillemette said the school has a carbon monoxide detector, but officials are now trying to find out if it works.

Orange code

Montreal Children's Hospital issued Code Orange, which suggests that this is a serious event. This afternoon will hold a briefing and provide further details on his response.

The hospital sent a beep and asked people to avoid emergency situations in emergencies.

Robert Lalli arrived to pick up his sons and said there was not much about the evacuation. (CBC)

Parents called for college students

The school council called parents and sent them an email asking them to raise their children in Notre-Dame-de-Rapides and explained that the building had a problem "possibly related to the school heating system."

Robert Lalli, who has two sons at Des Decouvreurs, said the parents had received very little more information about what had happened.

"We know only that the school was evacuated for safety reasons because of a possible gas leak," he said.

He said he was happy with the school's answer.

"They can not call anyone what happens," Lalli said. "The school must do what the school should do."

Dozens of children and staff at the Des Decouvreurs Primary School of LaSalle have been cleared by an outpatient clinic in at least three hospitals in Montreal after apparent leakage of carbon monoxide from a faulty heating system. (Radio-Canada)

Jean-François Roberge, Minister of Education, Quebec, said on Twitter that he and Health Minister Danielle McCann were closely following the situation and were in contact with Urgences-Santé and the school council representatives.

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