Thursday, September 16, 2010
H.W. Byers reopens following gas leak
By SUE WATSON
Five cafeteria workers at H.W. Byers were exposed to carbon monoxide due to equipment problems and taken to the hospital shortly after arriving at work Tuesday, Sept. 7, according to Don Randolph, superintendent of the Marshall County School District.
The workers were first taken to Collierville, then on to The Med, he said. One was released and four spent the night at The Med, according to Randolph.
The school was closed Wednesday while inspectors came to the school and isolated the problems. Workers found a vegetable steamer that failed to pass inspection and was removed from the cafeteria and identified one vent (air exhaust) system in the kitchen that was not working properly, he said.
All kitchen equipment at the school had been inspected and was found to be working before school started this fall, Randolph said.
He said the workers who got sick were the first to arrive at work Tuesday morning. They began to get dizzy around 7 a.m., he said.
The fire department, gas company, emergency management coordinator for the county and inspectors with the state health department all came in to assure the problems were isolated and corrected and that students and employees were safe, Randolph said. Problems were corrected and the school reopened Thursday. Children were served sack lunches in their classrooms and many enjoyed the change in pace, he said.
Then H.W. Byers was closed again Friday for a thorough inspection by state health department officials and the school was cleared to reopen Monday, Randolph said.
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