January 16, 2019 11:23 am
Updated: January 18, 2019 12:43 pm

Parents angry about lack of answers after carbon monoxide leak at Montreal school hospitalizes dozens of children

WATCH ABOVE: Mother Angelina Sicurella says she's furious with how the Marguerite-Bourgeoys School Board handled the carbon monoxide leak at Des Découvreurs elementary school in LaSalle that sent dozens to hospital.

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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.

READ MORE: Marguerite-Bourgeoys School Board to check all carbon monoxide detectors after dozens of children hospitalized

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


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“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.

Serina Sicurella, a student at Des Découvreurs elementary school in Montreal LaSalle borough undergoes hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Source: Angelina Sicurella.

Angelina Sicurella

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

READ MORE: Montreal public health physician calls for mandatory carbon monoxide detectors in schools

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.

Several children were also taken to the Montreal Children’s Hospital and Sainte-Justine Hospital.

“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.”

READ MORE: At least 43 children, adults in hospital after carbon monoxide leak at a Montreal school

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.”

Multiple children suddenly fell ill at an elementary school in Montreal’s LaSalle borough.

Brayden Jagger Haines/Global News

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.

READ MORE: Carbon monoxide poisoning spikes in winter: here’s what you need to know

“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

rachel.lau@globalnews.ca

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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