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Oct 28, 2011

11 students faint in Teakettle School

An incident this morning at a Teakettle school has puzzled the entire community. Soon after classes began, several standard six students, who use the church as a classroom, fell ill; some of them fainted and had to be rushed to the Western Regional Hospital. All shared similar symptoms of dizziness, nausea and severe headaches. The students have since been released but doctors have been unable to determine what went wrong at the school.  News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Eleven students out of a class of thirty-five at the St. Edmund R.C. School ended up at the Western Regional Hospital this morning. They all mysteriously fell ill and started fainting, leaving everyone in Teakettle Village as well as the doctors baffled as to what may have caused the sudden wave of sickness. The standard six teacher explained how it all unfolded, starting just before nine o’clock.

Voice of: Standard 6 Teacher, St. Edmund R.C. School

“I came to school and then a little before nine, like quarter to nine a little child started to feel dizziness, nausea and headache—striking headache—so I took him to the office. I thought that it wasn’t anything, I thought it was just that he didn’t have breakfast. So I went to the office and I told the vice principal this child was not feeling well. So we decided that he had to go home cause he’s not feeling well so they took him home. By the time he went home and I got over with him, another child was feeling the same symptoms; headache, nausea and he was limping, couldn’t walk. So I brought him in and as I was attending to that one the other students were out picking up garbage from standard six cause it’s Friday and by the time I was attending to him and I went out, I had two other cases and it was the same. So I took them to the office and the vice principal said its best we take them to the hospital because we don’t know what’s wrong with them. In about fifteen, twenty minutes we had three more coming in and after that they were treating them and in a little while we had a total of eleven students in the hospital with the same symptoms; headache, dizziness, one of them was seeing doubles and couldn’t even speak properly.”

Twelve year old K-Cee Usher was one of the affected students and he says there was a strange smell in classroom this morning.

Voice of: K-Cee Usher, Std 6 Student, St. Edmund R.C. School

“Eena my class yoh had wah smell dat we neva smell before eena we class and after that so much ah we classmates just ketch way severe headache and some ah dehn just start feel bad afta dat.”

Delahnie Bain

“So all of them were from your class?”

Voice of: K-Cee Usher

“Yes, at least about eleven?”

Delahnie Bain

“So what did you do when you start to feel bad?”

Voice of: K-Cee Usher

“I just sit down and started to cry. I was drinking water and when I done drink the water I mi di feel bad so I throw weh di water.”

Delahnie Bain

“And the other kids, they were just in the class?”

Voice of: K-Cee Usher

“No, we were under a tree because eena di class, di scent.”

Ruby Usher had just left her son at school and headed to Belmopan when she got the news.

Voice of: Ruby Usher, Mother of K-Cee Usher

“I was going to the market, I got a phone call from my friend and she said Ms. Ruby, you know what dehn just ker K-Cee da hospital. I seh what? And she seh yes. I seh but weh cause it? and den she seh like eleven ah di children dehn fainted and dehn had to take them to the hospital. I seh, you know, like weh cause dis? And she seh she noh know neither.  I got frightened and like cold seed all over me. I seh hmm cause dis is the first time this happen to my [knowledge] this dah di first time ih happen dah Teakettle school, the first time something like this happen. All my children went to that school and never we had this before.”

Ruby’s fears were compounded when she arrived at the hospital and K-Cee was the only student that was still hospitalized. His condition was complicated since he is asthmatic.

Ruby Usher

“I went straight into the emergency and I si my son—and he dah di only one weh still, like he neva come to yet. He mi deh pan drips and he had oxygen and all di rest ah children they were up already. I seh my God dah weh do my baby now. So he dah di last one weh lef di hospital.”

Voice of: K-Cee Usher

“Different people like some of my friends’ parents took different people and teachers.”

Delahnie Bain

“So can you tell us what happened when you were at the hospital?”

Voice of: K-Cee Usher

“When I mi deh dah hospital, dehn just give me wah drip and wait till ih done. Dehn ask me different questions if I had headache or anything.”

Delahnie Bain

“So how are you feeling now?”

Voice of: K-Cee Usher


Voice of: Standard 6 Teacher

“I have no idea, I don’t know what it was. Doctors just suspected that maybe they had some insecticide or something that they smelled inside the classroom but otherwise I have no idea what it was.”

While the students have all been released from the hospital, today’s episode remains an unsolved mystery.  Delahnie Bain for News Five.

The remaining students went home early since classes concluded at midday on the last Friday of each month.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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23 Responses for “11 students faint in Teakettle School”

  1. MS SMITH says:

    OMG my old school i got the first 8 years of my education @ this school,can’t wait to find out what really happened.

  2. Mel says:

    Perhaps something toxic was in the air or chemical fume. Something could have caused this.

  3. EMOs says:

    Don’t people get it yet? These kids are into this emo culture very, very strong.

  4. bzean says:

    Channel 7 interviewed some of the kids and their parents and they indicated spirt possession. Ignorance is a sad thing. Most likely it was probably carbon monoxide which had built up in the small room or some other dangeous gas. All these sympthoms are indicative of it.

  5. Indy says:

    Okay. This is not a coincidence. Who is going to do something about this? Church or Ministry of Ed or both, they need to figure out why that happened. Perhaps those children shouldn’t go back to that classroom

  6. Indy says:

    Okay. This is not a coincidence. Who is going to do something about this? Church or Ministry of Ed or both, they need to figure out why that happened. Perhaps those children shouldn’t go back to that classroom

  7. jose says:

    This is very serious and needs URGENT attention from the Ministry of Education.

  8. matt urban says:

    natural gas pockets are odourless and can suddenly leak from the ground they cause headache and nausea etc.tests should be done before its safe for kids to return who knows maybe they even stumble on oil

  9. Governor says:

    Ok, I am reading this story and unless I missed it, where are the government officials and experts and what are they doing or saying about this incident?

  10. ang says:

    Once when I was a child in Czl we lived by the sea I was outside brushing my teeth and I felt those same symptoms but it smelt like nitrates tear gas and no other person in my family smelt it. I was the only one I had to go outside and sit down my heart was pumping to the max, even drinking water was difficult the odor is choking so choking you nauseate, perhaps it’s the soil composition, an elder Maya had told me they used to pray when they dug wells and b/c of unknown chemicals released by soil it can happen, possession? I don’t know but we have to alert kids and like to investigate.

  11. KIKA says:

    but the thing is they don’t tell how long the children are staying in the church they are using as school. Because why this is concerning s that such story is true this happen to my Parents. There was a house that they had bought but decided that they go checked the locked house after abt 6 months and they house when my father enter said ” i began to feel week and wan to vomit and almost fainted in the house” he was alone and from there he gone home and he was vomited. He said it usually happen whenever a house is locked down for long. It was haunted after along period. This is no joke but reaal.

  12. Sasha says:

    sad to hear what is going on but it has to be chemical or other toxic fumes coming from the building itself. eventhough not eveyone in the classroom was affected which is good news.

  13. paul says:

    Just ammonia from the ratbat poop in the ceiling…

  14. fromafar says:

    definately a gas of some sort… read the Channel 7 article and amazed that they are stupid enough to push that kind of story… Ignorance is indeed bliss…

  15. check it out says:

    Ignorance is rampant, now you see why the politicians can have a field day.
    all the above mentioned gases are possible, methane, carbon monoxide, ammonia, there was a report a few weeks ago about Chinese sheet rock panels releasing toxic fumes into the rooms. we will never find out because there is no hussling in this, so the politicians and the department of the environment will not look into it. Afew weeks ago when entire Belize City reeked of S**t we all bought the excuse of the fish meal, but was any air quality testing done. the people that live near the flour mill, near a smoker plant, near a car painting facility, is there any scientific testing of air quality. NONE, NADA ZILCH. so on a larger scale we are all a part of this IGNORANCE!!!!

  16. Lex says:

    Thank you Channel 5 for reporting this story the correct way, with facts and a basis in reality! I read the Channel 7 version first, and I was completely embarrassed. They tried to make it seem like evil spirits were behind this. I felt like it was an abuse of media to spread such nonsense.

    Good Job!

  17. BT says:

    Ch5 covered the story from a position of logic and science, while Ch7 went for the ridiculous angle of demonic possession. But why did the interviewees on Ch5 feel they needed to hide their faces, yet the so-called “possessed” people were quite comfortable appearing on camera? What does it say about our society when people who stand behind science, logic, and reason are afraid to stand up and speak out against ignorance?

    Next thing you’ll see an anonymous “voice of meteorologist” explaining how a cold front made the hurricane miss Belize out of fear of being labeled a heretic by those who want to Believe they prayed the storm away.

  18. 14Rancho says:

    Sounds like Carbon Monoxide poisoning to me. They should check the church for any gas appliances and make sure they are in proper working condition. Check for insects/animals building nests in the oxygen ports or stove pipes. Could also be that they got ripped off with some bad butane which might cause improper burn and thus higher CO levels than normal.

  19. Elgin Martinez says:

    Most of these old buildings need to be checked for asbestos and carbon-monoxide.

  20. Initiate! says:

    The biggest ignorance is to think and believer that there is nothing such as evil spirits, come on, we live in the 21st century, and we have a HUGE amount of history telling us that evil spirits do exist and do manifest themselves through humans. Give me a break, stop being blissfully ignorant,… just because you are clueless in handling or controlling or solving the matter does it mean you can blissfully put it under “fact-ful” catagory that needs to be ‘investigated’.

    Bring Jesus on the scene and He will drive the evil spirits away. No sweat!

  21. Charlie Price says:

    RADON …is the likely cause.

  22. Cocoa_Panyol says:

    If this was leaking Gas such as methane butane etc from a canister, the odor would have remained until the gas completely dissipated. If it was naturally ocurring gas from an underground source or a malfunctioning sewer system, you would still be able to smell the odor. The photo shows that the classroom was well ventilated which leads me to believe it was some sort of insecticide or weedicide that was sprayed by farmers or the health authorities upwind of the school and which dispersed downwind.

  23. Miss Me says:

    This sounds like carbon monoxide poisoning> We live in a modern world and we at times become exposed to various gases which can have adverse effects if ingested or inhaled especially for long periods.

    Leave the suspicious belief alone.

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