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Carbon Monoxide At Philadelphia School Sends Dozens Of Students To Hospital

(Students at Brown Elementary were evacuated to a church across the street.   Credit: Mike DeNardo)

(Students at Brown Elementary were evacuated to a church across the street. Credit: Mike DeNardo)

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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –-  Dozens of elementary school children were taken to local hospitals today after carbon monoxide fumes spread through an elementary school in the Mayfair section of the city.

According to fire department lieutenant Bernard Gilliam, a malfunctioning backup generator forced the evacuation of JH Brown Elementary School after the main power went out.

“Children in the upper floors began to experience lightheadedness and some nausea,” Gilliam told KYW Newsradio.

Fifty children and five adults were taken to local hospitals.  Gilliam says none of the injuries was serious.

adult Carbon Monoxide At Philadelphia School Sends Dozens Of Students To Hospital

(An adult is transported from JH Brown Elementary School after a carbon monoxide leak sickened dozens of people. Credit: Mike DeNardo)

Many of the 577 children at the school, in the 3600 block of Stanwood Street, were evacuated to a church across Frankford Avenue (top photo), and parents including Tim Burnes rushed to pick up their children.

“It’s just a scary thought,” he said afterward, “because when this stuff kind of happens, you never really know.  With the terrorist attacks and all of the things going on in school, you don’t know what to think.”

Classes were cancelled for the rest of the day to allow fire and maintenance crews to air out the school.

School officials say Brown Elementary will reopen on Wednesday.