Update: South Huntington school superintendent Dr. David Bennardo updated parents and the public after several students reported nausea and chest pain after riding on a bus.
He posted the following:
I wanted to circle back and provide an update on this morning‘s bus situation. As previously mentioned, several of our students who were on Huntington Coach Van, Bus HC-67, complained of nausea and what they characterized as the smell of exhaust.
Our school nurse evacuated the students and found no immediate danger, but in an abundance of caution, we contacted the paramedics and parents for further evaluation. The paramedics from the Melville and Greenlawn Departments examined our students, and ultimately recommended anyone complaining of symptoms be checked at Huntington Hospital.
Ultimately, our staff traveled with 10 students, and we met the parents in the Huntington Hospital Emergency Room.
As of noon, all 10 students have been released and returned to school. The doctors found no elevated blood,or CO2 levels. Additionally, Huntington Coach had the Fire Department test the bus exhaust levels, which have been reported to contain no exhaust leakage. Additionally, the New York State Department of Transportation has been dispatched for an examination of the bus on Monday.
We are thrilled that our students are all doing fine, and equally happy that they had the trust and confidence to alert us when they felt something might be wrong. While none of us like the optic of three ambulances in front of a school, the priority always must be the health and welfare of our students and staff.
We also got to see the paramedics from Melville, Greenlawn, Huntington, and the Huntington hospital staff at their very best, and thank the parents for working as partners throughout the process.
I am writing to apprise you of a developing situation at the Silas Wood 6th Grade Center.
Earlier today, several of our students who had been on a small Huntington Coach Bus complained of nausea and chest pains. The nurse evaluated the students and found no immediate danger, but the district decided to err on the side of caution and have all of the children evaluated by paramedics. The paramedics then determined it was most prudent to have these sixth-grade students evaluated at the hospital.
As a result, we are transporting 15 children on several ambulances to the hospital for evaluation. The students’ parents have been informed and are an active part of the process. We are reaching out so you have the full story relative to the emergency service presence.
Of course, Huntington Coach has removed the bus from service and is evaluating the vehicle. We have no further information from that evaluation at this time but will, of course, be in touch should the situation need remediation.
Again, our students are not in danger, but their safety is our absolute first concern. Therefore, they are all being transferred for evaluation to the hospital.
Please feel to reach out if you have any further questions.
This story will update.