Durban: The KZN Department of Education said pupils at Richards Bay Hoërskool were affected by a suspected gas leak on Monday morning.
The department said its district director was currently at the school to gather more information and for intervention.
The department said affected pupils had been sent to nearest hospital for treatment.
According to Shawn Herbst from Netcare 911, they responded to a suspected gas inhalation at a school as well as homes in the surrounding area of Richards Bay just before 8am.
“Reports from the scene indicate that, children as well as adults developed nausea, vomiting, difficulties in breathing with many who have collapsed.
“It is believed an unknown gas has been blown in the direction of the school and surrounding area.
“At least 40 children were removed from the noxious gas to a safer area where they were treated and then transported to hospitals and clinics in the Richards Bay and Empangeni areas.
“The fire and rescue services as well as health authorities are on scene and have reported that the situation has normalised.The source of the gas is still to be determined.”
According to Sandy Camminga from The Richards Bay Clean Air Association, it was aware of the situation and suspected a gas leak at Foskor-based on SO2 exceedances recorded at our Arboretum station.
“We have made contact with Foskor and are awaiting feedback. The RBCAA has also notified the authorities. An update will be provided as soon as we have more information.”
She urged people to log their complaint with 083 515 2384.