Miami-Dade County

Seven cafeteria workers hospitalized after falling ill at Miami elementary school

Seven cafeteria employees at Orchard Villa Elementary School in Miami were sent to the hospital as a precaution early Thursday morning, April 5, 2018, after they complained of feeling ill.
Seven cafeteria employees at Orchard Villa Elementary School in Miami were sent to the hospital as a precaution early Thursday morning, April 5, 2018, after they complained of feeling ill.

Seven cafeteria employees at Orchard Villa Elementary School in Miami were sent to the hospital as a precaution early Thursday morning after they complained of feeling ill, said Miami-Dade Public Schools spokeswoman Daisy Gonzalez-Diego.

"No students were in the cafeteria at the time so the school is not being evacuated and school is resuming," she said. The cafeteria is closed until further notice.

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho spoke to Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll at the school and it is believed workers were exposed to carbon monoxide while preparing lunch for the day. Someone may have forgotten to turn on an exhaust fan.

The kitchen exhaust fan is supposed to be used at the end of the day in cleaning function mode and be turned on during cooking, Gonzalez-Diego said. Officials are looking into whether one of these steps was overlooked.

Administrators at the school, 5720 NW 13th Ave., are making arrangements to feed the students elsewhere at lunchtime — either in their classrooms or another location on campus, Gonzalez-Diego said.

The employees were taken to Mercy Hospital.

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