Oklahoma church group recovers after carbon monoxide poisoning

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DUNCAN, Okla. – “I started to feel a little woozy,” said youth pastor James Mitchell.

He started feeling funny on his way back to Duncan on Sunday.

He was driving a church van, filled with eight teenagers and another chaperone.

The group with Tanglewood Bible Fellowship was headed back from a mission trip in South Dakota.

Before pulling over in Kansas, he says he noticed he wasn’t feeling right.

“We pulled over and when we stopped they all stumbled out of the van,” said Mitchell. “I was having trouble even trying to concentrate just paying out the cash which was weird cause it was 20s and 5s.”

At first, he thought it might be food poisoning from their earlier lunch.

Another van with their church pulled up and everyone inside that van felt fine, so Mitchell started to worry.

He immediately called 911.

The group went inside to wait for help, their symptoms getting worse.

“I got real nauseous and vision was kinda blurry,” said chaperone Tim Griffith.

Mitchell says when paramedics arrived, they recognized immediately that the group was showing signs of carbon monoxide inhalation.

“When they start to describing at some point you’re gonna have a seizure if you have too much exposure to carbon monoxide it really just that home,” said Mitchell.

The students trying to cope with their own sickness, and to help each other at the same time.

“We kind of all woke up and just had headaches, I threw up and my dad threw up,” said high school junior Zachary Griffith.

All ten were taken to a nearby hospital.

Mitchell says they were on oxygen for four hours.

“I wish we had a better explanation, but we’re just glad everybody made it back,” said Mitchell.

He’s hoping that this can be a warning for other church groups traveling this summer, to check your vehicles before you drive.

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