Officials: Finch Elementary leak caused by human error - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Officials: Finch Elementary leak caused by human error

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ATLANTA -

Students of Finch Elementary School returned to their own school on Friday morning after officials found the cause of a carbon monoxide leak. Classes has been held at Kennedy Middle School since Tuesday.

Monday's carbon monoxide leak at the school was evidently caused by human error, officials say. Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll Davis says two maintenance workers were working on the furnace last Friday, but forgot to reopen a valve.

Davis said that the technicians didn't come forward, even after more than 40 children were taken to the hospital.

"We hold our employees to the highest ethical standards and we intend to address these issues swiftly," Davis said.

The district's associate superintendent, Steve Smith, also says state officials determined the leak was caused by human error.

"The state boiler inspector has determined that the cause of the carbon monoxide event was caused by the failure of the maintenance technicians to reopen a valve leading to the heat exchanger," said Smith.

Shawna Daniels was shocked to hear that it was human error and not mechanical failure that exposed her daughter to deadly carbon monoxide gas.

"It's just a sad, sad thing to hear now that someone was responsible for this and that it just wasn't an accident," said Daniels.

District officials ordered a new boiler for the school and say it will be installed in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, they're taking measures to make sure that this will never happen at any school in the district.

"Carbon monoxide detectors have been installed at Finch Elementary School, and the district is currently developing a plan to install carbon monoxide detectors across the entire district," said Smith.

The fire marshal said the building at Finch has been temporarily met the city's fire codes for occupancy, but they'll return to the campus once the new boiler is installed to inspect it.

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