Gas Leak shut down BISD Middle School

BEAUMONT, Texas– Parents are awaiting to find out more from the Beaumont Independent School District after a massive gas leak at a middle school Thursday morning that sent 157 people to the hospital.

There are no carbon monoxide detectors at the school or on any Beaumont ISD campus, and some parents want that to change so this doesn’t happen again.

There was a total of 179 people sickened at Marshall Middle School, according to Captain Earl White with Beaumont Fire and Rescue. Some were treated at the school.

Christus Southeast Texas said 68 students were treated at St. Elizabeth.

46 students and 2 adults were treated at Baptist Hospital Beaumont, said a spokesperson for the hospital.

43 students and 1 adult were treated at Victory Medical Center Beaumont.

Two state boiler inspectors were at the middle school into Thursday evening to check out what may have been a faulty boiler that let out the carbon monoxide gas that leaked.

The inspectors were there for hours along with Beaumont Fire and BISD employees.

Preliminary investigations are still not clear, and they may not be available until next week.

In the meantime, Marshall parents spend the rest of this week with their kids because school’s closed tomorrow.

“The system needs to be looked at,” said Marshall parent AJ Martin. “Repaired, upgraded to keep our kids safe.”

He spent three hours at the ER with his son who was showing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

“He was dizzy. Nauseated. Had a headache,” Martin said.

Meanwhile, at Marshall Middle School this morning – panic by parents.

Some even holding tissues, emotional.

“A little upset not knowing what was going on,” said Syreeta Britt. “Happy I got them, basically. Just happy they’re … safe.”

Just before 10:30 a.m. Thursday, officials said a carbon monoxide leak happened from what appears to be a boiler.

When EMS arrived, numerous students and faculty reported carbon monoxide exposure symptoms.

“They showed symptoms of vomiting and of course EMS took the appropriate medical action,” said Captain Earl White of the Beaumont Fire & Rescue.

Two mass casualty buses from the Houston area were on scene. A total of seven agencies other than Beaumont assisted.

Parents applaud the response but believe they could have been notified faster.

Many also believe that because no carbon monoxide detectors were in the building, or in any Beaumont ISD school, they should be considered.

“They need to find out what they can do,” said Martin. “I know they’re very, very expensive. And with our school district being in the straits it’s been in, it might be difficult to do that. But the system needs to be looked at.”

Captain Earl White said carbon monoxide detectors are not required.

“It’s a personal choice in facilities, commercial facilities and homes,” said White.

But the district is considering implementing them.

As for the school’s reopening, no word yet on when it will be open, because school officials want to make sure it is completely safe, before letting people inside.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login