Over a dozen children were hospitalised after a carbon monoxide leak was reported from a daycare centre in Pennsylvania.
The firefighters got a call from the Happy Smiles Learning Center in Allentown on Tuesday about an unconscious child. When they arrived, their monitors alerted them of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere, department spokesperson John Christopher said.
When several people had symptoms, the response from the emergency services became much more substantial, he noted.
Twenty-five kids and eight staffers were immediately evacuated after the paramedics declared the scene to be a mass casualty incident, he said.
As per local media reports, the gas leak was classified as a level 1 mass casualty incident, which means that area emergency services and hospitals could become overwhelmed by the large numbers of affected people.
As per WPVI, 27 people were transported to four hospitals in the Lehigh Valley. All of them are reported to be in stable condition. However, it wasn’t immediately clear how many of those patients were children.
Several other fire departments and first responders are providing mutual aid at the scene, Christopher said, adding that some kids were taken to the hospital by their parents.
Christophe said that other departments, including firefighters and emergency responders, are being pressed in to help strengthen the local response.
Officials said there isn’t a carbon monoxide detector in the building, even though a legislation was passed last month saying that all childcare facilities in the state need to have a detector.
They had a deadline of 30 days, which has not yet passed.
But The Happy Smiles director said detector installation plans were already in place, WFMZ reported.
(With inputs from agencies)
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