14 D.C. Students Hospitalized With Respiratory Problems
(NTARC) Washington D.C. fire officials are investigating a hazardous material situation at an elementary school.
Authorities were called to Walker-Jones Elementary School at 100 L St. in Northwest just before 10 a.m. on Tuesday in response to a report of a chemical odor in the building.
Officials said that upon arriving, they found some kids complaining of respiratory problems and called for hazmat units.
Fire Department spokesman Alan Etter said that 14 children and one faculty member were transported to a local hospital for respiratory irritation. None of the injuries is believed to be life-threatening.
Officials said a pepper-spray type product or tear gas was released in the school, but authorities don’t know how or by whom. Etter said officials are working to determine whether the irritant was intentionally or accidentally sprayed.
Students were evacuated and taken to a church and another school to continue their school days.
The school was ventilated all afternoon, and air samples were taken periodically. Evacuated students were brought back to Walker-Jones at the end of the school day after the all clear was given.
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