120 high school students hospitalized after fire drill

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Up to 120 students were taken to hospitals after they fainted and showed symptoms of heat exhaustion during a fire drill conducted at their school in Cabuyao City in Laguna on Thursday.

The students were taken to the Ospital ng Cabuyao and Cabuyao City Hospital for treatment.

A majority of them were later discharged and advised to rest at their homes. Four students, who reportedly have comorbidities, remained hospitalized yesterday.

Around 2,000 students of the Gulod National High School Extension in Barangay Mamatid participated in the fire drill, the Calabarzon police said in a report.

The drill started around 3:20 p.m.

Lt. Col. Jack Angog, Cabuyao City police chief, said classes at the school were suspended yesterday due to the incident.

The school conducted the fire drill in compliance with Department of Education (DepEd) Order No. 53 or the Mandatory Unannounced Earthquake and Fire Drills in Schools, according to City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office head Bobby Abinal Jr.

Cabuyao Mayor Dennis Hain said the school officials did not coordinate with the city government about the drill and relied solely on the DepEd order.

“Hindi na-coordinate sa opisina at sa anumang departamento so wala doon na mga trained na responders,” Hain said in an interview over Teleradyo.

He ordered the suspension of fire and earthquake drills in public and private schools in Cabuyao following the incident.

DepEd spokesman Michael Poa gave assurance that the department is closely monitoring the condition of the affected students.

”At the same time, we are making inquiries so that we can improve the conduct of drills,” he said. — Janvic Mateo, Ed Amoroso

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