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Updated: HAZMAT at North Stafford High School: 15 Sickened

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Stafford County fire and rescue officials issued the following statement about today’s HAZMAT incident at North Stafford High School:

Shortly after 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday May 6, 2014, Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to North Stafford High School after students reported feeling ill due to an odor in the school. Upon arrival Fire Rescue personnel determined that the odor was due to a contractor spraying herbicide near the fresh air intakes for the HVAC system.

The incident only involved one wing of the building and that area was evacuated. Fire and Rescue personnel evaluated seventeen patients, of which four were transported to area hospitals for further evaluation. After consulting with the State Hazardous Material Officer, Fire and Rescue personnel ventilated the affected area and the school returned to normal operation at 1:00 p.m.

12: 20 p.m. 

A total of 15 people reported feeling ill this morning after chemicals used to eradicate weeds were picked up by North Stafford High School’s air handling system and distributed through a wing of the school.

All of the patients were evaluated, and two of them were taken to a local hospital with injuries that did not appear to be life threatening for further evaluation, said Stafford fire and rescue spokesman Mark Doyle.

11:40 a.m.

It appears chemicals sprayed this morning outside North Stafford High School are to blame for sickening children inside the school.

Here’s the latest statement from Stafford County Public Schools:

North Stafford High School’s academic wing has been evacuated to the gymnasium as a result of an unusual smell caused by contractors spraying for weeds outside the academic wing. The Stafford County Fire Department and Sheriff’s Office have responded to the building. Air samples are being checked before allowing the students and staff back into the classrooms.

As fire and rescue crews were still arriving at the school this morning, a landscaping crew was seen talking with emergency officials in the school’s parking lot. One of the landscapers appeared to be upset.

Large fans were brought into help ventilate the school building.

11:15 a.m. 

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – A total of five patients have been identified as injured during a HAZMAT situation this morning at North Stafford High School.

Fire and rescue crews descended on the high school on Garrisonville Raod just before 11 a.m. There’s no official word on what caused the HAZMAT.

Recue crews are conducting a triage operation to asses the injured and several classrooms have been evacuated, according to initial reports.

Some students and teachers are being held inside an auditorium inside the school building, according to initial reports.
North Stafford High School was built in 1981.

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