A TEACHER and 14 students were taken to Orange hospital on Thursday morning after complaining of headaches, dizziness and nausea as a result of a gas leak in a faulty air-conditioning unit in one of Molong Central School’s classrooms.
The incident occurred at around 9.15am yesterday with emergency services, including police from Manildra and Molong, called to the scene along with firefighters and paramedics.
The school was evacuated while the gas leak in a classroom in A block was shut off.
Classrooms were ventilated while all students at the school were moved to the sporting field, while the teacher and students overcome by fumes were moved to B block and assessed by ambulance crews before being transported to hospital where they were released a short time later.
Department of Education and Communities media liaison officer Grant Hatch said the teacher involved acted quickly and decisively to remove her Year 12 students from the room once she realised there may be a problem.
“The prompt action of that teacher, the responsibility shown by students in the class, and the excellent support of other staff and students in following the school’s regularly-rehearsed evacuation drill, are to be commended and probably contributed to limiting the impact of the gas,” Mr Hatch said.
He said the school appreciated the prompt response of emergency services.
“The school asked that the teacher and all class students be checked at hospital to ensure that there were no ill-effects,” he said.
“For the safety of all students and staff, public schools regularly practise drills, such as evacuation.
“This morning’s evacuation followed procedures and underlined the value of these planned rehearsals.”