YONKERS, N.Y. -- The discovery of an “unrecognized smell” in the cafeteria of Yonkers Middle High School around noon on Wednesday ended with about 150 students being sent to local hospitals after the unidentified fumes sickened them, according to a school official.
Jeri Fierstein, a spokesperson for Yonkers Public Schools, said the school’s principal immediately evacuated the building with Yonkers emergency personnel arriving shortly thereafter.
“They assisted any students who weren’t feeling well, while the whole situation remained calm outside the building,” said Fierstein.
Students were under the supervision of district personnel while they waited outside in an area adjacent to the building and were eventually led into the gym until school was dismissed. The gym is detached from the middle school building, which is at 150 Rockland Ave. Yonkers emergency personnel are still investigating the cause of the smell and what exactly sickened the students.
“The 150 students who were sent to local hospitals were sent with school personnel and those parents have received calls from school staff,” said Fierstein. “The maintenance department is cleaning the kitchen and cafeteria where the smell occurred.”
Students were sent to area hospitals including St. Joseph's Medical Center and St. John’s Riverside Hospital, both in Yonkers.
Fierstein says school will be open on Thursday.
Parents who have questions can contact the school early Thursday morning, Fierstein said.
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