Beckley, WV Gas Heater Sickens Girls, Mar 1973

GAS MAKES GIRLS SICK.

By Jamie Samsell
Post-Herald Staff Writer.

A faulty gas heater in a cottage at the Beckley Child Care Center was blamed for causing 10 young girls to be hospitalized Thursday morning for carbon monoxide poisoning.
The Methodist home's director, the Rev. Virgil Cook, said that at "approximately 5 to 5:30 this morning the housemother was awakened by one of the children. The child was nauseated and vomiting and, suspecting the child to have a virus -- we've had a lot of that -- she treated the child as such."
Cook said the children were taken to Raleigh General Hospital following a doctor's recommendation and subsequently were found to be suffering from carbon monoxide inhalation.
"I was informed as of about 5 p.m. Thursday ... that the children were listed as being in good condition and they were expected to be released Friday morning," Mr. Cook said. "I personally visited each child and they were sitting up drinking soft drinks and hollering for something to eat. We're very happy -- we're very fortunate that we caught this in time."
Local gas company officials and technicians are attempting to pinpoint the cause of the gas leak.
The children hospitalized were:
VICKI KIRK.
KAREN TRAIL.
TERESA DOOLEY.
DORIS HEMMINGS.
RUBY BRAGG.
LYDIA YATES.
SHEILA MILLER.
VALARIE KIRK.
SHARON DOOLEY.
DONNA TRAIL.
According to Richard Welch, hospital administrator, "All children had deep cynosis
-- pinkish-orange flesh -- that is seen in carbon monoxide poisoning." The children were given oxygen therapy and intravenous fluids were administered to some, he said.

Post-Herald Beckley West Virginia 1973-03-09