Andros students treated for carbon monoxide poisoning

Andros students treated for carbon monoxide poisoning

47 of 49 students have returned to Fresh Creek

NASSAU, BAHAMAS- The Ministry of Health yesterday reported most of the students airlifted to the capital from Andros due to carbon monoxide poisoning have been treated and discharged.

The MOH statement confirmed 47 of 49 students, and the bus driver is also doing well and has safely returned home to Fresh Creek.

South Andros MP Picewell Forbes told Eyewitness Online yesterday the school bus that was transporting students from Cargill Creek to Central Andros School has been taken out of commission, and an investigation launched.

“There’s a lot of angst with parents, though I can’t blame them, about the use of the bus and there are different views about it, you see it even on social media,” Forbes said.

“But I have much repudiation over the use of the bus unless it gets proper clearance either with professional mechanics at AUTEC or maybe some local certified mechanic that it is okay, because you don’t want kids to go back in there again”.

Forbes underscored the loss of the bus would intensify transportation challenges on the island.

Asked whether charges were being considered, Forbes said investigations had not yet advanced to that level.

He thanked the Ministry of Health over its quick response and accommodating efforts to those impacted.

“On the morning of 4th October, 49 Central Andros High School students and their bus driver were assessed and treated at the Fresh Creek, Andros, Clinic for suspected carbon monoxide poisoning,” the MOH statement read.

“As a precautionary measure, the Ministry of Health successfully arranged for the affected children, an accompanying parent/guardian and the bus driver to be flown to New Providence and transported to the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) for additional treatment.”

On Friday, officials were responded to a mass casualty incident of carbon monoxide exposure in a school bus transporting children.

The matter had been labeled a mass casualty incident given that the number of casualties exceeded the resources from local sources.

Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands explained on Friday that the treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning requires oxygen therapy and/or hyperbaric chamber treatment.

He said the island did not have the capacity to treat 39 people simultaneously.

US military at the AUTEC base were asked to provide additional oxygen assistance.