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40 pupils hit by mystery illness at UK school

London: About 40 students today mysteriously fall sick at a school in north-east England with two rushed to a hospital after collapsing.

It is not yet known what has caused the students of Outwood Academy in Ripon, North Yorkshire, to collapse.

North Yorkshire Police said the pupils had “displayed signs of sickness and feeling faint.” Paramedics have been at the scene treating majority of the ill pupils while two were taken to hospital.

“The safety of all the students and staff at the school is paramount. At this stage we are aware of just two who have attended hospital or a local medical facility, the rest have been treated at the scene by ambulance staff. Officers are working with the fire service to establish what has caused the incident,” a police spokesperson said.

Emergency services are now investigating a suspected gas leak at the school, which could have caused the students to collapse. Car bonnets in the area are being searched.

In a statement, Yorkshire Ambulance Service said up to 40 children are now being treated after suddenly falling ill at the school.

“We dispatched a number of resources to the scene including a doctor, three ambulance crews, two rapid response vehicles, a number of Clinical Supervisors and our Hazardous Area Response Team,” it said.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said: “A number of students had collapsed at the school and have been taken to hospital.

Outwood Academy has 635 students, aged from 11 to 18.

“A specialist detection, identification and monitoring (DIM) team from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is also at the incident,” North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said.