hazmat

NY High School Evacuated After Students Fall Sick; Hazmat Team Responds

The sudden illnesses were apparently caused by the release of pepper spray

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What to Know

  • Ramapo High School in Spring Valley was evacuated Thursday after multiple students suddenly fell sick; some reported vomiting
  • The sudden illnesses were apparently caused by pepper spray; the source of the spray wasn't immediately clear
  • A hazardous materials team was using fans to ventilate the building, a district official said

A hazmat team and two fire departments responded to a Rockland County high school after getting reports nearly two dozen people fell ill, some of them vomiting, in the facility Thursday, authorities say.

A call about the issue at Ramapo High School in Spring Valley came in shortly before 9 a.m. The building was evacuated as a precaution.

Authorities later said pepper spray had been released in the school -- and that a total of 19 people -- a mix of students and staff -- were treated and released at the scene. The source of the spray remains under investigation.

A spokesperson for the East Ramapo Central School District confirmed some patients were treated for watery eyes and breathing problems; he said hazmat teams were using fans to ventilate the building.

Students were allowed to return to the building less than three hours after the evacuation, once the premises were deemed safe.

All normal school activities were set to resume as scheduled.

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