2 Preston County Schools Evacuated Due to Carbon Monoxide - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

2 Preston County Schools Evacuated Due to Carbon Monoxide

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Update:

The West Virginia Division of Natural said the owner of a used Subaru dealership adjacent to Tunnelton-Denver Elementary School is facing charges.

Students were evacuated from the school and South Preston Middle School after officials detected carbon monoxide there on Dec. 6.

Nearly 40 students went to local hospitals. The DNR and the Department of Environmental Protection said the dealership may have been burning illegal materials.

The DNR said it will talk to the Preston County prosecutor to decide what charges to file.


 Original Story

Students at Tunnelton-Denver Elementary School and South Preston Middle School were evacuated Friday, Dec. 6 after being exposed to higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide. A neighboring business' furnace pushed smoke into the school, which caused the high levels of carbon monoxide, said Craig Schmidl, Preston County Assistant Superintendent.

Ambulances from Preston, Barbour, Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Taylor, and Tucker counties were called to the school to transport 37 patients from modular units behind the school to Grafton City Hospital, Preston Memorial Hospital, and Ruby Memorial Hospital, and Mon General Hospital. Firefighters at the scene said students were transported to local hospitals after complaining of nausea and dizziness. Firefighters from the Tunnelton VFD said none of the illnesses seemed severe.    

Schmidl said the carbon monoxide levels have since returned to normal, but school will not be back in session until Monday. The W.Va. Division of Natural Resources is at the scene to air out the building. Emergency crews will monitor the carbon monoxide levels in the schools throughout the weekend to see if students can safely return Monday.