The Collège Charles III on Avenue de l’Annonciade has been given the green light to reopen after it was temporarily closed to all students and staff last week in the wake of an accidental leak of noxious gases that caused the hospitalisation of seven individuals.
Five pupils and two members of the maintenance team were briefly hospitalised following the incident, which occurred during routine works in the swimming pool area of the school on Wednesday 7th February. They have since been released in good health.
As reported by Monaco Life at the time, a chemical reaction is said to have generated toxic vapours that spread to the classrooms, with students in 6e and 5e classes particularly affected.
The school was immediately closed and, the following morning, the Monaco Government brought in two teams to perform NRBC-E (nuclear, radiological, bacteriological and chemical) tests in various parts of the establishment, including in the classrooms, corridors, cafeteria and nurse’s station, with a particular focus on the source site of the problem, the swimming pool maintenance room.
Over the weekend, the results of the tests carried out by the Marseille Fire Brigade’s Identification and Sampling Detection Vehicle team and SOCOTEC, an independent third-party company who perform on-site inspections globally, confirmed that the Collège Charles III would be safe to welcome students back for classes as of the morning of Monday 12th February.
“The air analysis and measurements looked for the possible presence of different pollutants such as: carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen sulphide (H2S), chlorine (CL2), nitrogen trichloride, trihalomethanes, phosphorus, arsenic and sulphur,” announced the Monaco Government in an official statement. “The converging results obtained both by the Marseille Fire Brigade and by the SOCOTEC Control Office, confirm, unequivocally, with no doubt, the total absence of toxic substances in the air within the establishment.”
Photo source: Monaco Government