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Chinese beef hotpot dish blamed for carbon monoxide scare that forced US school evacuation

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 November, 2017, 10:31pm
UPDATED : Friday, 17 November, 2017, 10:41pm

A self-heating beef dinner from China is being blamed for a carbon monoxide scare at a Rhode Island boarding school.

The Barrington Fire Department said it responded to a call from St Andrews School at about 6pm on Thursday after a carbon monoxide alarm went off.

Students were evacuated from the building and the source of the gas was traced to a dormitory.

But investigators could not work out what was producing the gas, since there were no gas or wood-burning elements in the building.

At that point, a student mentioned that his dinner – a beef “hotpot” his parents had sent him from China – included a self-heating packet to warm up the meal.

Fire Captain Scott Carroll said a carbon monoxide meter registered extremely high levels of the gas when placed near the dish.

Carroll said the building was ventilated and no students got sick.