Hazardous material spill at school in Napa

May 13, 2008 11:45:14 AM PDT
Seven faculty members were evaluated for minor health problems and released after a hazardous material spill this morning in a science lab at Napa's Vintage High School, a Napa fire captain said.

Fire Capt. Conrad Perez said that the faculty members experienced symptoms including mild headaches, soar throats and nausea, but that nobody required hospital treatment. No students reported health problems, Perez said.

According to the school Principal Eric Schneider, a shelf in one of the science labs broke before the start of classes, causing beakers and bottles to fall to the floor and break.

The science building was evacuated and has been cordoned off by fire officials.

"We're very pleased with the rapid evacuation of students from the building," Perez said.

Firefighters responded to the school, 1375 Trower Ave., at about 8 a.m., and at 11:15 a.m., a hazmat team was preparing to enter the lab.

Perez said that six to eight chemicals, including liquids that are possibly flammable, have spilled and mixed.

"Whenever we have chemicals released inside a closed building we have to do a very methodical approach," Perez said.

Classes at the school are being held as scheduled, according to Schneider. The taped-off structure hosts six of the school's 85 classrooms and classes scheduled to take place in the building have been redeployed to other rooms, he said.

Perez said just before noon that the fire department is "probably looking at another three to four hours at the minimum before we can get this situation mitigated."


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