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Gas leak near Virginia Tech sickens 19

August 20, 2007|From the Associated Press

blacksburg, va. -- A carbon monoxide leak at an off-campus apartment complex critically sickened two Virginia Tech students and sent 17 other people to hospitals Sunday, police said.

Five women, all students, were found unconscious in their beds in a unit at the Collegiate Suites complex, Capt. Bruce Bradbery said.

The leak came the day Virginia Tech dedicated a memorial to the 32 people killed by a student gunman in April. Fall semester classes begin today.

"Enough's enough," Bradbery said. "We've got . . . kids here who are just clinging to life."

Two were taken to the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, where they were in critical condition, he said. Their three roommates were taken to Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.

Two of the women taken to Duke could breathe on their own but were unresponsive, Bradbery said; another he described as semiconscious. All three were upgraded from serious to stable condition, the hospital said late Sunday.

Bradbery said the cause of the leak appeared to be a faulty valve on a water heater.

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