Students, teachers fall ill after nauseating stench at Rio Claro West Secondary

The Member of Parliament for Mayaro Rushton Paray, is requesting that the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) launch an immediate investigation into the emergency evacuation of the Rio West Secondary School today.

A statement from his office revealed that approximately 38 students and several teachers were rushed to the Rio Claro Health Centre after complaining about headaches, nausea, a burning sensation in the stomach and respiratory problems.

The statement said several teachers and students reported that upon arriving at school they noted a pungent and nauseating stench permeating the air.

The MP's office says that the normal operations of the school continued and that it was only around 9:15 am that students and staff reported their symptoms to the school's administration and were quickly rushed to the Rio Claro Health Centre.

Most students and teachers were reported to be in a stable condition with fewer than five patients experiencing severe vomiting and belly pains.

Thirteen students were taken by ambulance to the San Fernando General Hospital, 11 to Sangre Grande and one to a private medical facility.

Last week Tuesday, the Rio Claro Vedic Primary School was also evacuated as three teachers and 14 pupils fell ill and were taken to the hospital after being exposed to a chemical smell.

That incident was as a result of someone utilising pesticide in their vegetable garden.