149 Students Taken to Hospital After Odor Prompts Evacuation of Yonkers School: Officials

More than 100 students complaining of eye irritation and shortness of breath were taken to a hospital after a "gas-type smell" in the cafeteria forced the evacuation of a school in Yonkers Wednesday, authorities said.

Police and fire officials are investigating the source of the odor. In total, 152 people, including 149 students, were sent to be evaluated after the late-morning evacuation at Yonkers Middle High School.

About 1,700 students attend the school.

One boy who was in the cafeteria when students started getting sick said kids simply began coughing at the same time.

"It was at one table and then another person caught it, and then people started getting sick," he said.  

Eighth-grader Jamar Lama said something got in his eyes and "I thought something was wrong with me, so I went to the bathroom." 

Most of the students are between the ages of 11 and 14. Fire Chief Thomas Fitzpatrick said five responding firefighters also experienced what the kids did: chest and respiratory discomfort, nausea and eye irritation.

Authorities are investigating and could not rule out an intentional act. 

Follow Andrew Siff on Twitter @andrewsiff4NY

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