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Officials: Finch ES carbon monoxide leak due to human error | Education

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Officials: Finch ES carbon monoxide leak due to human error

ATLANTA -- APS officials, in a Thursday morning news conference, said problems with the furnace behind the carbon monoxide leak at Finch Elementary School Monday that sent 50 people to the hospital was the result of human error.

School officials said the system was inspected last Friday. During that inspection, they said, maintenance workers failed to open a valve that allowed carbon monoxide fumes to accumulate in the school building.

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Officials said carbon monoxide detectors have been installed at Finch, and a certificate of occupancy will be issued on Thursday. Students are set to return to school at Finch on Friday after spending much of the week at Kennedy Middle School due to Monday's evacuation.

Monday night, several parents told 11Alive's Blayne Alexander they had no intention of sending their children to school, no matter where classes were held.

"Honestly, I want to see the carbon monoxide detectors before I let my son go back to that school," said Nina Reed. Her 5-year-old son Marquis was in his kindergarten class Monday morning when the alarm sounded.

PHOTOS | Carbon monoxide poisoning at Finch Elementary

Atlanta Public Schools spokesman Stephen Alford said Finch would be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors before students were cleared to return. He also said APS will do a district-wide boiler check, hitting every school, in the coming weeks.

Of the 50 people transported to local hospitals Monday, all 40 students were released. Eight adults were also released, two were kept for further treatment.