Hundreds of students evacuated Manchester West High School Friday after chemical fumes leaked from the gymnasium into hallways and classrooms.
“There was people puking and ambulance were coming everyone getting headaches,” said sophomore Kimberly Stone.
By 11 a.m., 950 students made their way outside to fresh air on the football field.
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Officials say crews were refinishing the wood floors in the gym in preparation for the upcoming basketball season, when the chemicals started seeping into classrooms.
“We determined what the product was and it was mainly an irritant,” said District Fire Chief Michael Gamache.
Firefighters spent an hour and a half clearing the fumes. By the time we met freshman Elizabeth Ballou at 2 .p.m. dismissal–she was still feeling sick.
“It’s bad I feel like I am going to pass out,” Ballou told necn.
Ballou was one of 30 students evaluated by paramedics. One student was taken to the hospital by ambulance and a teacher transported herself.
“They decided to do it during school, knowing something could happen, especially working with chemicals, I mean it is frustrating,” Ballou said.
When we asked why the district decided to refinish the floors while school was in session, Superintendent Bulgen Vargas admitted it may have been a bad idea.
“We will evaluate what went wrong and take immediate action, whatever action is necessary,” Vargas said.
Both the student and teacher who ended up at the hospital are in stable condition and expected to be okay.