Detectors Installed After Roanoke College Carbon Monoxide Leak

ROANOKE, Va.- In response to the recent carbon monoxide poisoning of more than 100 Roanoke College visitors, the school has begun installing carbon monoxide detectors.

A carbon monoxide leak in the Sections residence halls resulted in the death of one man and sent 114 others to area hospitals July 14. At the time of the leak, the buildings had no detectors. The college installed detectors at Sections as well as in several other residence halls and buildings on campus. Although the monitors are not required by law, campus officials announced that this temporary safety measure would be put into place while they explored more permanent options to work along with the current fire alarm system.

“Providing for the safety of our entire campus community is our top priority,” said Theresa Gereaux, director of public relations.

An autopsy report released July 17 confirmed that carbon monoxide poisoning caused the death of Rev. Walter J. Vierling, 91, a pastor who was staying in the Sections dorms. The campus paid respect to Vierling by lowering the college flag to half-mast.

All those who were hospitalized as a result of the leak have now been released, according to a Lewis-Gale Medical Center spokesperson.

The incident could lead the Virginia State Firefighter’s Association to more aggressively push for new state legislation requiring the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in all residential buildings.

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