ALLENTOWN, Pa. – A carbon monoxide leak at a daycare has sent more than two dozen children and several workers to the hospital.
Every ambulance in Allentown responded Tuesday morning to the leak at Happy Smiles Learning Center in the 400 block of Wabash Street, Allentown Fire Department Capt. John Christopher said.
PHOTOS: CO leakage at Allentown daycare center
The 911 call was initially a medical call for a child who was unconscious, Christopher said. When firefighters and EMTs responded, the monitors on their bags alerted them to carbon monoxide.
That led to a full evacuation of the center and a massive emergency response as more people showed symptoms, he said.
Children were taken out on stretchers as more waited to be transported.
A total of 32 people were taken to various Lehigh Valley Health Network and St. Luke’s hospitals, according to spokespeople for each health network.
Of them, 28 are children and 4 are adults, officials said.
All were in stable condition.
The incident was reported as a Level 1 mass casualty incident, meaning local emergency responders and hospitals may be overwhelmed by the number of patients.
Several other fire departments and emergency personnel provided mutual aid at the scene, Christopher said.
UGI crews are on site to investigate where the leak is coming from and what caused it.
There is no carbon monoxide detector in the building, officials said. Legislation passed last month now requires all childcare centers in Pennsylvania to have CO detectors, but the 30-day deadline has not yet expired.
The director of Happy Smiles said there were already plans to install a detector.