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30 people sent to hospitals for suspected heatstroke during sports day at Osaka girls' school

OSAKA -- Thirty people complaining about heatstroke symptoms were transported to hospitals during a sports day event at a school in this western Japan city on June 2, with one of them hospitalized.

    Ambulances are seen at Osaka Jogakuin Junior and Senior High School in Osaka's Chuo Ward on June 2, 2022, in this photo taken from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter. (Mainichi/Masashi Mimura)

    A local fire department received an emergency call from a teacher at Osaka Jogakuin Junior and Senior High School in Osaka's Chuo Ward at around 3:15 p.m. on the day, saying that students were suffering from heatstroke. According to the Osaka Municipal Fire Department and other sources, 29 students and a guardian complained about heatstroke symptoms and were transported to hospitals for treatment. A third-year junior high school student was hospitalized, but she can reportedly talk.

    The school said that it has some 1,300 students, and the junior high and senior high school divisions were jointly holding the sports day event from 8:30 a.m. on June 2. Students complained about sickness one after another during a cheering contest in which they danced and clapped their hands to music toward the end of the event.

    The school had instructed its students to remove their masks and wear caps to avoid direct sunlight during the event, but the instructions were apparently not thoroughly observed. Principal Akira Niwa said at a news conference, "We must say that countermeasures were not sufficient."

    Osaka Jogakuin Junior and Senior High School principal Akira Niwa, right, explains about the heatstroke incident at a news conference in Osaka's Chuo Ward on June 2, 2022. (Mainichi/Sayuri Toda)

    According to the Osaka District Meteorological Observatory, the maximum temperature in the city's Chuo Ward on the day was 29.2 degrees Celsius. The temperature at 3 p.m., just before the teacher made an emergency call, was 28.2 C.

    (Japanese original by Haruno Kosaka and Sayuri Toda, Osaka City News Department)

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