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SCHOOL DEATH WING PROBED; Fears after five die.

Byline: MARIE SHARP

A SCHOOL "death wing" is being investigated after five teachers died in seven years.

Rumours about the jinxed section of Lasswade High School, Midlothian, are so rife the local authority is sending investigators to inspect the building and test water and air conditions.

Since 1995, five teachers have died and eight have fallen seriously ill.

Some even refuse to work in the high school's B-wing because of its reputation.

Midlothian Council education boss Donald Mackay ordered the probe to allay fears in the community. But he insists problems are not linked to the building itself.

He said: "Many staff have been in for a considerable time and are aged over 50.

"Unfortunately, it is not surprising a number have suffered health problems."

The school on Eskdale Drive, Bonnyrigg, was built in the 1950s.

Since 1995, three have died of cancer and two suffered fatal heart attacks. Five others had heart problems and three contracted cancer.

All were based or spent a large amount of time in B-wing, usually staffed by 20 to 25.

One teaching source said: "People refer to it as the death wing. Some have even refused to work in it. It makes people nervous."

The council say the death ratio is not unusual given that around 150 teachers have worked there since 1995. And the victims have died of Scotland's main killers, cancer and heart disease.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 25, 2003
Words:232
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