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Montezuma Creek Elementary reopens day after CO scare


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MONTEZUMA CREEK, San Juan County — A teacher hospitalized in Salt Lake City following a carbon monoxide scare in a small southern Utah school remained in serious condition Tuesday.

A spokesman at LDS Hospital said Connie Todachini was stable Tuesday morning.

Todachini was one of three people hospitalized after a carbon monoxide leak sickened 43 children and adults Monday morning at Montezuma Creek Elementary School. She was first taken by medical helicopter to Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez, Colo., and later transferred to Utah.

A third-grade student was also flown to Southwest Memorial Hospital, where she was treated and later released

A second adult woman who was inside the school was taken by medical helicopter to Mercy Medical Center in Durango, Colo. An update on her condition was unknown Tuesday.

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A 44th person, an EMT, was also sent to the hospital and had surgery after breaking his leg in a fall off of a wall while responding to the incident, said San Juan County spokesman Rick Bailey. The EMT was released from the hospital Monday night.

Investigators believe an exhaust pipe coming from one of two water heaters had become disconnected, venting gas into a mechanical room, the kitchen and classrooms.

The elementary school reopened Tuesday and started the day with a meeting between parents and school administrators to explain what happened and answer questions.

The Red Mesa Chapter of the Navajo Nation also scheduled a meeting for Tuesday afternoon to discuss what happened, Bailey said.

Montezuma Creek Elementary serves students in kindergarten through sixth grades. About 280 students were estimated to be at the school at the time.

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Pat Reavy


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