Eight children got sick on Thursday morning after a strong odor was detected in an elementary school in Bridgeport.
The incident happened at the Columbus Elementary School on George Street, according to school officials.
Four of the students were taken home by parents, who were advised to follow up with their doctors. The other four were taken to a local hospital by an ambulance at the suggestion of the fire department.
"Children were crying. They were scared. A lot children were panicking,” sixth-grader Maria Perez said. “I was in the window and I saw some children go in the ambulance."
Bridgeport Public Schools told Eyewitness News the students came down with symptoms including coughing and vomiting. All of the students were in the same part of the school building when they started feeling sick.
"When we came from the third floor, where I am, we were going through the hallways. I smelled gas. I don't know,” Maria Perez said. “They said it was a rubber smell, but I smelled gas."
Because of the investigation and the smell, the school activated its emergency evacuation plan and all of the students were sent to the nearby Johnson School.
Windows were open as families flocked to the school to pick up their children.
"I didn't smell anything. They didn't let me through the doors,” father David Perez said. “I had to take my daughter before she mounted a bus, before they took her to another school."
The fire department measured carbon monoxide, gas and PCBs. It said all of the tests came back negative. The Department of Public Health also responded and they did a walk through.
Additional testing will be done, school officials said. They said they don’t have a clear indication where the “odor” came from. However, the odor was isolated to one class.
There was a bug going the school and the administration said it could have spread through the class.
The administration said Columbus Elementary School was cleared to reopen on Friday. Members of the Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection cleared the reopening of the school.
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