MONTREAL (AFP) - Seventy-one children at a Quebec daycare centre were rushed to hospital on Tuesday with carbon monoxide poisoning, authorities in Canada said.
Workers at the daycare in Saint-Eustache, 45km north-west of Montreal, called for help after they and several of the children began vomiting and complaining of violent headaches.
Symptoms in only a few of the children were initially dismissed because daycare staff believed they could be signs of flu.
But they quickly realised something was seriously wrong when they too began to fall ill, Quebec government minister Francine Charbonneau told a press conference.
"Five children developed symptoms a bit more severe than the others" and were treated in hospital while the others remained under observation, she said.
Carbon monoxide can cause headaches, nausea and fatigue. Prolonged exposure can be fatal.