O’FALLON - Seventeen students, a teacher, and a parent helper became ill and St. Clare Catholic Grade School was evacuated Thursday morning on West Third Street in O’Fallon.

The source of the problem seems to be a gas leak in the kitchen, which law enforcement says has been isolated. Parents have been notified of the situation with the sick students.

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The O'Fallon Fire Rescue Chief Brad White issued a statement and said a 13-year-old boy had passed out during morning Mass in the gymnasium. He also said emergency officials found a gas leak in the kitchen, which is very close to the gymnasium. White added that the gas leak was located and fixed. Large fans are positioned in the area now to move the gas smell out of the building.

The students are reported to have become ill in the gym and are receiving medical treatment.

A triage area has been established for other students who feel they may have been affected.

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