A daycare in Pennsylvania experienced a carbon monoxide leak on Tuesday morning, resulting in more than two dozen children and numerous workers being sent to the hospital.
The incident took place at Happy Smiles Learning Center in Allentown. Allentown Fire Department Capt. John Christopher shared that every ambulance in the city responded to the scene in order to assist those affected.
Authorities were first called because a child was found unconscious, according to Christopher.
“All of a sudden, he just collapsed,” the director of the daycare shared with WFMZ. “When they tried to bring him back, he was just not responding, so my staff called 911 right away.”
But, when firefighters and EMTs arrived at the daycare, they started receiving alerts on their monitors that there was a carbon monoxide leak. This resulted in the entire center being evacuated and a massive emergency response due to multiple people showing symptoms, Christopher shared.
“EMS immediately came in on scene and started doing triage, transporting anyone with symptoms,” Christopher said, noting that children were taken out on stretchers while more waited for transport.
All of those affected are in stable condition. Officials shared that the final count was 28 kids and four adults sent to local hospitals.
The building housing the daycare did not have a carbon monoxide detector, something that the Pennsylvania Senate is trying to require in all childcare centers in the state.
However, Allentown went a step further, anticipating the legislation passing, requiring all childcare centers to have a CO detector by October 27. The daycare director shared that she was planning on adding one to her center.
“I was waiting for someone to get back to me, but it just never happened,” she said.
The daycare has since been suspended by the City of Allentown’s health department, and the building has been deemed unsafe.