…after grass fire near school Some 23 secondary students were rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital on Thursday morning after they were affected by smoke originating from grass burning nearby.The fire started about 11:00h at the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) Ground on Thomas Lands, Georgetown. At the time, persons were burning dry grass on the ground which had been previously sprayed with a weedicide.Guyana Times understands that 22 students from Tutorial High School and one from Richard Ishmael Secondary School, both located on Woolford Avenue, had to seek medical attention.According to reports reaching this newspaper, the smoke started to affect students at St Joseph High, who were out in the school’s ground for their Inter-House Sport activities. The students had to eventually retreat back to their classrooms to escape the smoke.However over at the neighbouring Tutorial High, students were in their classrooms when the smoke started to affect them. This prompted an evacuation and the students were taken to a nearby field. However, the smoke became heavier and this affected the students’ breathing causing some of them to collapse and others to throw up.The affected students were then rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where they were given oxygen to regulate their breathing. Most of them were sent away after being stabilised. However, about seven students are still at the medical institution for further observation. These were mostly asthmatic cases.When this publication visited the Georgetown Public Hospital, most of the students had been treated and sent away, but concerned parents and teachers flocked outside the Accident and Emergency section checking up on those who were still being treated.Guyana Times spoke with one of the students who related what transpired. Third former Shereza Ibrahim related that they had ignored the smoke initially, but it persisted and eventually got thicker.“The teachers didn’t tell us anything; they just told us to go out to the tarmac but when we got there, it was foggy. The whole school was surrounded by smoke and then we went over to the ground and we heard that the dry grass on the field behind us caught fire,” the teenager related.Meanwhile, one of the students who were rushed to the hospital, Akela Mckenzie, told this publication that after they were evacuated to the field across the road from the school, some students took ill.“Some children start falling down, some start coughing, some starting vomiting and so they rushed us to the hospital, where they put us in the emergency room and give us oxygen to breathe,” the young woman, who suffers from asthma, recalled.Additionally, Guyana Times understands that one of the fire fighters who had responded to put out the grass fire was also rushed to the hospital. Efforts to contact officials from both the Guyana Fire Service and the Education Ministry for comments on the incident were futile.