Date: 12/25/2008 7:29 AM
BEIJING (AP) — Sixty-five elementary school students in northern China were poisoned by carbon monoxide after smoke from a dormitory boiler seeped into their rooms, state media reported Thursday.
Nineteen were still being treated in hospitals in Inner Mongolia, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Meng Lei, a regional health official, told Xinhua that none were in serious condition.
Calls to provincial and city authorities, including the health and education departments, were not answered Thursday.
The students at Niuchang Primary School in Hohhot, the regional capital, reported feeling dizzy after waking up on Wednesday, Xinhua said.
The poisoning was caused by smoke that leaked from a boiler in the students’ dormitory, Xinhua said.
Earlier this month, 11 girls died from carbon monoxide poisoning in their dorm room in Shaanxi province after blankets fell onto a charcoal heater they were using to keep warm.
Carbon monoxide detectors are not required in schools in China, though the Education Ministry last year suggested that schools that use coal heating should install them.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas. Moderate exposure can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and mental confusion. Prolonged exposure can lead to death.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.
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