The Luther Thorne Memorial School was forced to close early today following a foul odour which affected more than two dozen students and staff.
A statement issued by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) said it received an emergency call from the school around 11:45 a.m. today and an emergency response team, comprising of three ambulances, six emergency medical technicians and two ambulance officers, led by consultant in the Accident & Emergency Department Dr David Byer, was dispatched to the scene.
Police officers, including Station Sargeant Keith Belle, were also present to help maintain order.
Twenty-eight students and staff were treated for respiratory ailments as a result of smoke inhalation, 17 of whom were treated at the scene and discharged. Two patients were transported to the Sir Winston Scott Polyclinic, two were taken to the Edgar Cochrane Polyclinic, and the other seven were transported to the QEH’s Accident & Emergency Department.
Frantic parents, including Narvana Jordan, rushed to the Wildey, St Michael learning institution to collect their children after learning about the environmental problem.
“Something happened environmentally, and it affected the kids,” Jordan told Barbados TODAY, while raising concern about the illegal burning of garbage nearby.
“I think it is awful, I was an asthmatic growing up and I think that something should be done. A law should be passed . . . . I think it is high time that it stopped because obviously it is making people ill and we don’t need any more sick people,” she said, while another parent, who asked not to be named, said she had rushed to the school after she was told “the children dropping down like flies”.