Parents angry about lack of answers after carbon monoxide leak at Montreal school hospitalizes dozens of children
Des Découvreurs elementary school in Montreal’s LaSalle borough has reopened following a carbon monoxide leak that sent at least 35 children and eight adults to hospital Monday.
At least a dozen angry parents showed up at the school Wednesday without their children, insisting that they are not satisfied with the school’s safety checks, which included testing the air quality and fixing a faulty furnace.
WATCH BELOW: Montreal mother says school never called to say her child was in hospital after carbon monoxide leak
“No one wants to give us details on what happened,” said Sonia Mastromatteo, who has two children at the school.
“I never got advised from the school that my child was sick. One of my girlfriend called me because she found my daughter in an ambulance. I panicked…and we didn’t even know why at that point. Kids were passing out.”
Angelina Sicurella, a mother of two girls at the school, says the experience was traumatizing for her children — “a traumatic near-death experience” for one.
“Seeing all her friends at the Children’s, seeing them come in from the ambulance — it all happened so fast,” Sicurella told Global News.
Her eight-year-old daughter, Serina Sicurella, was one of 12 students sent to Sacré-Coeur Hospital to be treated for severe carbon monoxide poisoning.
WATCH BELOW: Decouvreurs parents demand answers
Nine of the children had suffered severe symptoms, including loss of consciousness while at the school.
WATCH BELOW: Should Quebec make carbon monoxide detectors mandatory in schools?
They underwent hyperbaric oxygen therapy before being released.
“You’re sitting there and she [my daughter] is like, ‘well, why is she here? Why is he here? I saw him fall and I saw her throw up,” Sicurella said.
“My child is like, ‘I’m not going to school. Let everybody else go to school. Let me see how they are first.”
Sicurella told Global News her daughters will not be returning to school until all her questions — including why the carbon monoxide detectors weren’t working — are answered.
“I want to know what they did and how they fixed everything. I have the right to know before my kid walks into that class,” she said.
“We’ve emailed them, they’re not getting back to me: ‘There’s no questions at this time, there’s no answers. All we know is we got the green light for your children to go back to school.”
The Marguerite-Bourgeoys School Board (CSMB) will said Tuesday it will be checking the carbon monoxide detectors in all of its 80 schools in light of the gas leak.
“We are going through all our buildings and we are checking them. If we find a building that doesn’t have [one], we will have it installed,” said Diane Lamarche-Venne, chair of the school board.
Gina Guillemette, a spokesperson for the school board, told Global News Des Découvreurs elementary does have a carbon monoxide detector; when it was last tested on Oct. 24, the device was functional.
WATCH BELOW: Mother Nadia Vespoli wants answers from CSMB after carbon monoxide leak
Fire officials tell Global News the levels of carbon monoxide in the school’s heating room were at 900 ppm and 175 to 200 ppm in the hallways.
Provincial government norms allow for 35 ppm in a workplace environment and 10 ppm in homes for adults.
“Those are levels for a human adult. These are for people that are five foot seven, 170 pounds — adult people,” said Ian Ritchie of the Montreal fire department.
“The exposure levels or something they could withstand is much, much different.”
WATCH BELOW: Children transferred to Montreal’s Sacré-Coeur Hospital after carbon monoxide poisoning
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.