Frankfort, IL – By Kristen Schorsch – Ten local high school students were taken to hospitals Saturday after carbon monoxide leaked into their cabin while they slept during a retreat at a Frankfort camp.
The incident happened about 7 a.m. Saturday after a heater malfunctioned in a cabin the 10 Rich Township High School District 227 girls stayed in at Camp Manitoqua, 8122 W. Sauk Trail, Frankfort firefighter and paramedic Kevin Stanford said.
One girl passed out, Stanford said. The others had symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, such as headaches, difficulty breathing and weakness, he said. They were transported to Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet, Palos Community Hospital in Palos Heights and St. James Hospital in Olympia Fields.
District 227 Supt. Howard Hunigan said the students had been treated and most likely released. He estimated about 100 students from the district’s three high schools — Rich Central, Rich East and Rich South — attended the weekend retreat that began Friday and ends today.
Tina Riley, Camp Manitoqua guest services director, said the cabin the girls stayed in has been vacated and won’t be used until the heating unit is repaired or replaced.
Firefighters shut off the gas and ventilated the unit, Stanford said. They also checked every other building for carbon monoxide poisoning. There was none, Riley said.
“Our most important concern is that everyone that was involved is fine,” Riley said.
“It’s a very isolated incident, a very bizarre incident,” Hunigan said. “We’ve been there all these years, and we’ve never had anything like this.”