GEISMAR, La. (WAFB) - A large presence of first responders and emergency crews were on scene at Dutchtown High School Thursday morning after reports of a strong chemical odor.
The reports started coming in around 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5.
Sources say students were complaining of headaches and nausea. A total of 28 students were transported for minor symptoms, including headaches and dizziness, says a spokesperson with Ascension Public Schools. All students were reportedly in stable condition.
The school system says parents were notified via robocalls.
According to the Ascension Parish sheriff, the leak came from a commercial lawnmower. The fumes reportedly entered the building’s air conditioning vents. The school has since turned off the A/C systems.
The school was initially evacuated out of an abundance of caution. Officials say the source of the odor was confined to one building on campus. At around 9:20 a.m., students were moved back into unaffected buildings.
After a sweep for carbon dioxide fumes, the Ascension Parish Fire Department cleared the scene just after 9:40 a.m.
School officials say the district’s environmental engineer did a complete assessment of the impacted building and has verified it is clear and safe for use. Classes will resume Friday.
School officials further said the administration received reports from parents who said they had not been contacted about the incident. They recommended parents reach out to the school tomorrow to make sure the correct contact information is on file.