Basalt High School evacuated after chemical release |

Basalt High School evacuated after chemical release

Scott Condon/The Aspen TimesBasalt High School students who were exposed to some type of chemical released Friday by an apparent prankster are checked out by emergency responders from the Basalt Fire Department. Some students complained of coughing, irritated eyes and headaches.

BASALT – Basalt High School was evacuated shortly before noon Friday when someone discharged some type of “chemical” in a boys’ bathroom, school and emergency response officials said outside the facility.

Based on the reaction of Basalt Police Department officers and firefighters, the incident appeared to be a prank rather than an attack. At least one officer put on a mask and entered the school with a rifle drawn, after the students and faculty were evacuated. The officer exited about 30 minutes later and conferred with other emergency responders and school officials outside the facility.

Emergency medical technicians checked the condition of approximately 24 students, teachers and administrators who came in contact with the chemical agent. The victims reported the chemical caused them to cough and their eyes to tear up. Some also developed headaches.

A request for a hazardous materials team came to the Basalt Fire Department at 11:51 a.m. School officials said the evacuation occurred while many students were on their lunch break and concentrated in the cafeteria. Students and school officials who were exposed to the chemical were gathered in front of the school. All those who weren’t exposed were taken to the bleachers of the football field, adjacent to the school.

For more on this story, see Saturday’s Aspen Times.

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