Health scare after Leeds schoolchildren collapse at Christmas carol rehearsals

St Benedicts Church, Garforth
St Benedicts Church, Garforth
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Emergency services were called after a number of primary school children collapsed during rehearsals for a carol service at a church in Leeds today (Tuesday).

Four youngsters from St Benedict’s Catholic Primary School, aged eight to ten, fainted at the church of the same name on Aberford Road in Garforth. Another ten-year-old complained of feeling unwell.

The ambulance service was called and paramedics contacted police and the fire service as a matter of course.

Headteacher Kieron Flood said: “Parents were alerted and the five children were taken to Leeds General Infirmary hospital accompanied by staff and parents. All children were subsequently discharged in the afternoon after being assessed.”

Fire officers who specialise in the detection and identification of hazardous materials carried out investigations and the gas supply was isolated.

Initial checks of the church and the nearby primary school by gas engineers found no obvious cause.

Engineers from Northern Gas Networks attended the church. A spokesman said: “The engineers disconnected the gas supply to both the church and the adjacent school and ensured that the properties were safe before leaving the site.”

The Health and Safety Executive was informed but a spokeswoman said: “There was no evidence of something having gone wrong from a health and safety aspect so we will not be taking any further action.”

Mr Flood added: “As a closely knit school we have a concern for all our pupils and this has been very upsetting for all concerned but particularly for the children and their parents.

“We look forward to welcoming them back into school tomorrow to resume the preparations for Christmas and the end of term.”

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