At least 179 sickened from gas leak at Beaumont school

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Dozens of students sickened by carbon monoxide in Beaumont.

"It was very scary not knowing where my child was," said Shary Harris.

Dozens of parents scrambled to look for their child after news of a carbon monoxide leak at Marshall Middle School in Beaumont had everyone on edge.

"I didn't even receive a call what was going on," said Harris.

"I can say that every effort was made to notify parents of the situation," said Capt. Earl White with the Beaumont Fire Department.

Officials say they also quickly worked to evacuate almost 800 students and about 70 faculty members.

The most affected by this were the students.

"I was dizzy, I threw up twice and I fainted," said 6th grader Byron Richard. "It was very scary some people could have lost their lives. Our assistant principal fainted."

Overall, officials say 179 students and some teachers were treated at nearby hospitals. All of them, luckily, will be okay.

"I gave him a big hug and a kiss," said the mom.

Moving forward, this mom says she hopes school leaders use this as a learning experience.

"They were not organized at all they need to be organized not just for my son but for everyone's safety," said Harris.

And it turns out Houston had a hyperbaric chamber on standby, ready to help in Beaumont in case the injuries were severe or life threatening. Doctors say if people survive, and they're not treated quickly and aggressively enough, it can cause permanent damage. So to treat them, they're put inside a submarine looking tube called a hyperbaric chamber.

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Houston had a hyperbaric chamber on standby, ready to help in Beaumont following Thursday morning's gas leak.

Beaumont Independent School District said the leak was coming from a boiler and they're now working to find out what caused the leak. For now, Marshall Middle School will be closed on Friday.

School officials released a statement which reads in part:
    "Students and faculty were evacuated to safe areas for evaluation and treatment. Numerous students and faculty reported exposure symptoms such as nausea and headaches at which time surrounding hospitals were notified and activated their emergency protocols. All students that were not exhibiting symptoms were transported by bus to West Brook High School Performing Arts Center. Parents were notified via the district's phone messaging system of the situation.

    At this time, there are no reports of any serious or fatal injuries. Safety is the top priority for Beaumont ISD. The district, in coordination with state inspectors and the Beaumont Fire Marshall, are working together to evaluate and remedy the problem. BISD will continue to work with all agencies and use all resources to ensure the safety of the students and staff.

    Marshall Middle School will be closed on Friday, January 29, 2016. Students and staff of Marshall Middle School should remain at home. Beaumont ISD will take as much time as needed to ensure the building is safe for students and staff to return. Parents will be notified through all forms of media and the district's phone messaging system regarding Monday's school schedule."

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schoolevacuationcarbon monoxidetexas newsBeaumont
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