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Quebec protects school kids

The Quebec government says it will move to make carbon monoxide detectors mandatory in all of the province's schools.

In the meantime, Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge says he's asking all educational institutions to confirm the presence of detectors in their buildings by early next week and carry out air quality tests and inspections of their fuel-burning heating systems as soon as possible.

The measures announced today follow a gas leak at a Montreal-area school this week that left 43 students and adults hospitalized.

Under the current rules, Quebec schools are not required to have a carbon monoxide detector, but Roberge says he wants to change that and require yearly inspections.

Firefighters identified a defective heating system at Montreal's Ecole des Decouvreurs as the source of the gas, which left dozens of students and staff feeling nauseated and dizzy last Monday.

Some were vomiting, and an emergency room physician said nine children lost consciousness at the school.

Health officials confirmed on day after the incident that all 43 patients taken to hospital because of the gas had been discharged, but Roberge noted today that one of the children is still exhibiting symptoms.



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