Report: Middle school student poisoning preventable

Report: Middle school student poisoning preventable

Faulty equipment at Beaumont Independent School District’s Marshall Middle School was the cause of a poisonous gas leak that sent numerous students to the hospital for medical treatment earlier this year, according to a report released by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

TDLR investigator Robby Troutt reported that he was called to the middle school campus at approximately 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 26 due to an “ongoing carbon monoxide (CO) accident” in effect for more than an hour at that time.

The source of the CO was suspected to be the boiler mechanical room.

“Based on the evidence collected, this accident occurred as a result of two different failures,” Troutt reported. “First was the non-operational status of the power ventilation fans. The second is due to the flame that was observed exiting the side of the boiler, which was caused from corrosion of the firebox refactory.

“It is this investigator’s opinion, this accident could’ve been prevented by having a carbon monoxide detection or alarm system installed in the boiler room.”

According to the BISD maintenance director’s statement to Troutt, 175 students and teachers were treated by emergency medical services on-site for carbon monoxide exposure, with 69 of those treated on-site transported to local medical facilities. It was estimated that another 105 went to local medical facilities as walk-in patients.

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