LANGSTON, Okla. (KFOR) – Multiple Langston University students are now recovering after being rushed to the hospital Sunday morning for carbon monoxide poisoning, but the university maintains that no gas leaks were present.
News4 obtained the radio log sheet from the Logan County Sheriff’s Office. The initial call detailed “10-12 people that are passed out and not breathing…”
KFOR has confirmed that six students were treated at Integris Baptist and two were treated at the Logan County Mercy Hospital, all for carbon monoxide poisoning. A student also sent his INTEGRIS after visit summary with the diagnosis listed as “toxic effect of carbon monoxide, unintentional, initial encounter.”
The university sent a statement Sunday morning saying Oklahoma Natural Gas came out twice, including, “it was verified that this was a false report and no gas leak was detected..”
Destiny Randolph was in the building that night and detailed what happened.
“We were all just at a small little gathering just chillin around and I noticed that I started feeling really funny,” she said. “I looked at my friend and then she started to turn red…everybody started to faint one by one like literally passed completely out right in front of us.”
Now, parents like Sharon Jackson are calling for more transparency from the school.
“No email, no nothing,” she said. “I’m giving the school the opportunity to give me something, to give me answers…I need the school to contact me.”
Jackson detailed when she ran to the apartment complex to find her two daughters.
“One of my twins [were] on the ground, another on the gurney and she was foaming at the mouth and unconscious,” she said. “When the other one saw me, she came to me and passed out in my arms.”
She’s now thankful that her children are in recovery, but she still has questions that remain unanswered.
“Instead of bringing my kids back to a different hospital I could have been planning their obituary,” she said. “What I saw I don’t wish on any parent.”
Other students had to break a window to drag one of her daughters out. She says they saved her kids’ lives.
News 4 spoke to two students, Jamaryon Deal and Quanyei Johnson, who helped pull Jackson’s daughter out.
“We went to her window and broke it and my friend crawled in,” Johnson said. “[He] then unlocked the door and then we ran inside and we all got her out…we were just trying to get people to understand it was more serious than they think and something was really wrong.”
Deal says they don’t exactly know what made people faint but everyone present did notice an issue with the heat, adding it kept getting hotter in the room despite them trying to turn on the air conditioning.
“We [were] all trying to fix the thermostat and the heat stayed on,” he said. “It wouldn’t turn off, it was steadily going just ‘psssshhh.'”
Another mother who wishes to remain unnamed described the treatment her children received, having to be put in a hyperbaric chamber.
“I know it’s so much because if you didn’t have this much they wouldn’t offer this procedure to anyone,” she said. “That’s how you know it’s pretty bad because their monoxide levels were between 15 and 28.”
OU Medical Center’s Chief Medical Officer David Walsh with says those numbers refer to the percentage of carbon monoxide in the blood, specifically within the proteins that carry oxygen, and the symptoms on the scene could indicate that percentage was initially even higher.
“You’re probably not able to see loss of consciousness until you get over 30,” he said. “It’s gonna depend on sort of their pre-existing condition but probably the 30 to 40 range you’re going to see significantly altered mental status and eventually loss of consciousness.”
If the students weren’t pulled out when they were, they could have had serious effects.
“We’re talking about the whole brain being affected,” he said. “Anything over 3 hours and you are very likely to have some non-reversible damage.”
When KFOR reached back out to the university, they said they have no further updates to provide, only that the matter remains under investigation.
News 4 has also emailed and called Oklahoma Natural Gas to confirm that they were called to the scene twice and didn’t find evidence of a gas leak either time, but they have not yet sent a response.