More than two dozen children at a daycare in Pennsylvania were rushed to a hospital Tuesday after a suspected carbon monoxide leak, officials said.

Emergency personnel responded to a 911 call about an unconscious child at the Happy Smiles Learning Center on Wabash Street in Allentown, fire Capt. John Christopher told WFMZ.

When firefighters and EMTs arrived, their monitors alerted them to carbon monoxide, prompting the massive evacuation of at least 26 kids, according to the outlet.

Several children exhibiting symptoms were removed on stretchers.

The incident was reported as a level 1 mass casualty event, meaning emergency services and hospitals may be overwhelmed by the number of people needing treatment.

Children evacuated from the Happy Smiles Learning Center
A carbon monoxide leak at a the Happy Smiles Learning Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, sent at least 26 children to the hospital.
WFMZ-TV
Children wait outside the daycare after the suspected leak.
Children wait outside the daycare after the suspected leak.
WFMZ-TV

Several other fire departments and first responders are providing mutual aid at the scene, Christopher said, adding that some kids were taken to the hospital by their parents.

In addition to the children, eight nursery workers were in the building, lehighvalleylive.com reported.

People were being triaged at the scene before being transported to the hospital.

Children evacuated from the Happy Smiles Learning Center
The incident was reported as a level 1 mass casualty incident, meaning local emergency responders may be overwhelmed by the number of patients.
WFMZ-TV

Carbon monoxide, or “CO,” is an odorless, colorless gas that can be fatal.

The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to state records, cited by the outlet, the state inspection of Happy Smiles was in November 2021.

A fire alarm inspection from the month before found a deficiency in a foyer door, where it remained locked when the alarm system went off, the report said.

The nursery’s certification is reportedly up to date through February 2023.



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