Mystery Material Closes School

Six people in Littleton go to the hospital after the white powder is found


 
 

Howard Pankratz | | Wednesday, November 12, 2008


LITTLETON, Colo. -- An ill student and the subsequent discovery of a white powder in his locker Monday morning prompted Littleton fire officials to order the evacuation of Heritage High School.

Jay Ruoff, a division chief for the Littleton Fire Department, said officials have no idea what the substance is despite an initial field test.

The test was "inconclusive" and the powder is being sent to a laboratory for further testing, said Ruoff.

He said six people were taken to a local hospital as a "precautionary measure."

The six were two school employees and four students.

The white powder was found in a gym bag, said the division chief.

Diane Leiker, spokeswoman for the Littleton School District, said the Littleton Fire Department was notified by school authorities of a problem about 1:20 p.m.

"Early this afternoon, a student was exhibiting what appeared to be signs of intoxication and was taken to a hospital," said Leiker.

She said that initially, paramedics were called to help the student. Hazardous materials crews were called when faculty members went to the student's locker and saw the white powdery substance.

"They didn't know what it was," said Leiker.

As a result, the school was shut down 40 minutes early, and all 1,550 students were sent home.

Five other students who have lockers in proximity to the ill student's locker were checked, she said.

Ruoff said the two school employees who were sent to the hospital had complained of itching and burning eyes. They were decontaminated.

The school was evacuated about 1:45 p.m. after the students were notified over the PA system, said Leiker.

All practices and events also were canceled Monday.

Ruoff said the public-school system sent a cleanup crew into the school Monday evening. A decision on reopening the school today was still pending Monday night, but parents and students can check news reports ondenverpost.com for updates.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: PPE and Infection Control, Special Operations

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Four Killed in New Mexico Medical Plane Crash

Crash near fairgrounds claims patient and crew of three.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Involved in Crash

Odessa ambulance and car collide during response.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Las Vegas Fire, AMR Reach New Deal

Tentative agreement reached over ambulance calls.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Fire Damages Several Homes in California Earthquake

Four homes destroyed and others damaged after quake rattles Napa.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Mexico Air Ambulance Crash

NTSB investigates crash that killed four.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Where in the World of EMS is A.J.? Scranton

JEMS Editor-in-Chief visits his hometown of Scranton, Pa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Over 100 Injured in California Earthquake

172 patients treated at Napa hospital after 6.0-magnitude earthquake.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >