The DMV says nothing about the school bus that transported the girls' JV soccer team to an away game caused most of the players to get sick. But some of the team members and their parents are taking issue with the findings.
Several members of the North Haven junior varsity girls soccer team were treated for what was thought to be carbon monoxide poisoning after feeling ill at Polson Middle School in Madison Wednesday afternoon.
However, state Department of Motor Vehicle inspectors said there is no detection of carbon monoxide on the school bus that was involved.
According to a friend of the victims, team members said there was a leak on the back of the bus and several players had fallen asleep on the ride down.
Passengers on the bus started getting headaches on the trip to Madison, the friend said. When the game started, the girls and their coach were groggy.
By half-time, the players were bent over and coughing.
Twelve students had difficulty breathing when they got off the bus, officials said. At least eight juveniles and one adult patient were transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital.
The suspected source of the exposure was a school bus owned by M&J Company, a company that is located a12 Quinnipiac Avenue in North Haven, according to police.
Leslie Sheldon, president of Costa, a school bus safety association, expressed doubts about carbon monoxide being the source of the problem.
M&J Bus Incorporated released a statement about the incident on Thursday:
“We share the concerns of parents and school administrators regarding the students who fell ill yesterday afternoon while being transported from a middle school in North Haven to a soccer game in Madison. While this episode is still under investigation, we can tell you that preliminary tests performed on the bus in question by the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles have found nothing wrong. The Old Saybrook Fire Department also tested the bus idling for more than two hours in the same spot and found no carbon monoxide. We believe it is unlikely the bus had anything to do with causing the students to fall ill, but as a precaution we have grounded the bus for further investigation,” Michael Beebe, president of M&J Bus Incorporated, said in a statement.
The bus driver was contacted yesterday and was not showing any signs of possible carbon monoxide exposure.
Emergency crews received the first call reporting the incident at 4:28 p.m. and several Madison police officers and three Madison Ambulance Association units responded immediately to the school, 302 Green Hill Road.
They treated the victims with oxygen, but some suffer from asthma, which made it more challenging.
Because of the number of potential patients, mutual aid was requested. Guilford Ambulance sent three EMS units to the scene and crews from Branford and Clinton also responded.
Victoria Hartman was playing her soccer game next to where the incident occurred.
"We heard the sirens and the other coach had to come over to explain what was happening to the other team," Hartman, a freshman at Hand High School, said.
All the girls who were overcome by carbon monoxide were home relaxing as of Wednesday night.
The friend NBC Connecticut spoke with said the team is still shocked by what happened, but the members are thankful it wasn't any more serious.