Springer Memorial Secondary School will be closed Friday to clean up toxic chemicals that leaked while in storage, apparently sickening some students and teachers, the ministry said.
Firefighters, medics and experts were brought in to the Government Hill all-girls high school as fumes began to cause “discomfort for several teachers and students”, some of whom were taken to hospital for treatment for breathing problems, according to a ministry statement released through the Government Information Service.
“Agro products” came into contact with “a cleaning agent”, the ministry said, releasing the fumes from the chemical reaction, it added.
While the school is closed, the storage area for the chemicals is to be cleaned.
The statement read: “There was leakage of one of these agroproducts, which reacted with a cleaning agent, resulting in discomfort for several students and teachers. The school was immediately closed and the Barbados Fire Service and medical personnel were called. Six students went to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to be nebulized. All students have been released at this time.”
The Ministry of Labour, a hygienist, and a hazardous materials (hazmat) specialist were brought in to assess the situation, the education ministry added.
It said: “Occupational Health and Safety specialists will be brought in to clean and sanitize the affected area and surrounding areas on Friday, so that school will be ready for students and staff next Monday, November 25.”