November 4, 2015 12:24 pm
Updated: November 4, 2015 8:38 pm

15 children taken to hospital after mysterious illness strikes Woodlands Elementary School

WATCH ABOVE: A Calgary school was evacuated Wednesday, and several children sent to hospital. As Doug Vaessen reports, what sparked the scare remains a mystery.


CALGARY – Students were forced to flee Woodlands Elementary School on Wednesday morning following a carbon monoxide scare.

Emergency crews were called to the facility in the 0-100 block of Woodgreen Drive S.W. at around 9:30 a.m. after four children in the school’s band room fell ill.

The Calgary Fire Department (CFD) said the students were complaining of mild gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and dizziness, which are typical of carbon monoxide poisoning.

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The school was evacuated as a precaution and 15 students were assessed by paramedics at the scene, all of them between eight and ten-years-old.

Calgary Transit buses were brought in to house displaced students.

“Ultimately, a total of 14 students were transported in stable and non-life threatening condition to the Alberta Children’s Hospital,” said EMS Public Education Officer Stuart Brideaux in an afternoon news release.

Officials used portable CO monitors to determine air quality levels in the school were fine.

“There was some suspicion it was possibly carbon monoxide,” said CFD spokesperson Carol Henke. “However, we have used several of our monitors… and they could not find any readings of carbon monoxide.”

“At this point it’s a bit of a mystery.”

No chemicals or gases were found that could account for the symptoms experienced by the students, and emergency crews were not able to identify any water quality issues.

After a thorough investigation, the CFD determined it was safe for students and staff to re-enter the school at around 11:30 a.m.

“It is still unclear what may have caused the symptoms experienced by over a dozen students,” said an afternoon news release from the CFD.

According to the Calgary Board of Education, there are 259 students enrolled in Woodlands Elementary School.

– With files from Doug Vaessen

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