Air ‘nor­mal’ af­ter stu­dent faints dur­ing prayer ser­vice


One el­e­men­tary school stu­dent fainted and seven oth­ers com­plained of dizzi­ness, light­head­ed­ness and nau­sea yes­ter­day at a prayer ser­vice at Holy Name Par­ish in West Roxbury, author­i­ties said.

Shortly af­ter 10:30 a.m., fire­fight­ers went to the Cen­tre Street par­ish af­ter school of­fi­cials re­ported the symp­toms, said firefighter Marc San­ders, a Bos­ton Fire De­part­ment spokesman.

All of the af­fected stu­dents were from other schools, Kath­leen J. Caulfield, prin­ci­pal of Holy Name School, said in a state­ment she sent to par­ents and those schools.

Three of the stu­dents were sent to the hos­pi­tal for eval­u­a­tion, San­ders said, and the other five were eval­u­ated by Bos­ton Emer­gency Med­i­cal Ser­vices and then re­leased to their par­ents.

As a pre­cau­tion, fire­fight­ers evac­u­ated the build­ing and brought in their haz­ardous ma­te­ri­als team, which tested the air in the church, he said.

“They got zero read­ings of any con­tam­i­nants,” San­ders said. “The air qual­ity was per­fectly nor­mal.”

The team also in­spected the heat­ing and ven­ti­la­tion sys­tems in the church and got the same results, he said.

“They don’t know what the cause was,” San­ders said. “The church had no read­ings for any­thing that would be detri­men­tal to the air qual­ity, and the me­ters don’t lie.”

No adults re­ported symp­toms, he added. “It was only chil­dren.”

The young­sters were at a prayer ser­vice for third- to sixth-graders from Holy Name, St. Theresa, St. Bene­dict, St. Bren­dan and Sa­cred Heart schools, said Caulfield and Ter­rence Donilon, a Bos­ton Arch­dio­cese spokesman.

“All Holy Name stu­dents are safe and in school,” the prin­ci­pal said in a state­ment. “There is no con­fir­ma­tion of a haz­ardous odor at this time. The Bos­ton Fire De­part­ment mon­i­tored the air qual­ity in the church and found nor­mal read­ings through­out. All chil­dren at Holy Name are safe and fol­low­ing nor­mal school rou­tines.”

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