Gas leak at Oklahoma school sends students, staff to hospital

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BLACKWELL, Okla. - Students and staff members at an Oklahoma school were taken to the hospital Monday morning after suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.

It happened just before 9:00 Monday morning in Blackwell, Oklahoma.

A group of 7th grade boys was in the locker room of the practice room when several of them began feeling ill.

“A couple of the little junior high kids ran up to us and said there were some kids that were passed out and were throwing up in the locker room,” said football coach, Graham Snelding.

When Snelding walked into the locker room, he couldn’t believe his eyes.

“When we opened the door, I mean there were kids that had passed out on the floor you know in different spots. I think there were probably 5 or 6 of them that were on the floor. There were 2 or 3 kids leaning up against the wall crying. And there were 2 or 3 kids sitting on the bench, looked like they were being affected too,” said Snelding.

Snelding immediately went into action dragging the 7th grade boys outside with the help of another coach and even some other kids.

“I could tell there was something wrong with the air. I mean just because it was difficult for me to breathe too. And you know, it was, it just didn’t feel right I guess,” said Snelding.

“They think it was a bad heater. There was high levels of carbon monoxide inside, the fire department tested for. So we shut the building down, called the gas company in, those kinds of things,” said Blackwell superintendent, Rick Riggs.

35 students and 3 faculty members in the Blackwell school district had to be taken to the hospital.

School officials say no one will be allowed back into that gym until they’re certain they’ve fixed the problem.

“Thank goodness they’re all ok and that we were able to get them all out and everything. But yeah, it was pretty traumatic,” said Snelding.

All of the kids treated at the hospital are expected to be just fine.

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