'A Really Scary Situation': High School Evacuated After 21 Are Hurt by Reported 'Chemical Spill'


An Indiana high school was evacuated Tuesday because of an unidentified chemical spill that injured at least 21 students and faculty members.

The Indianapolis Fire Department, which responded to the incident, told WXIN that nine students and 12 school employees complained of irritated throats after an unidentified “white, hazy-like cloud” was reported in a girls bathroom.

The Indianapolis Star put the number of affected adults at 13, but agreed that no one had reported serious harm.

“No one was transported to a hosptial and all were treated on scene,” WXIN reported.

“Once they got into fresh air, grabbed some water, everything was good,” Indianapolis Battalion Chief Rita Reith told the star.

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HAZMAT teams searched the bathroom in question as well as other areas of the school, but found no residue of whatever caused the smoke cloud.

“At this time, we really have no idea what was deployed inside the bathroom,” Reith told WXIN.

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“This is a really scary situation for our students and for our families and this is a school day that has been fundamentally disrupted,” Beech Grove City Schools Superintendent Laura Hammack said.

“So we want to get to the bottom of what’s happened and ensure something like this never happens again.”

Hammack said school administrators were reviewing camera footage from throughout the building looking for answers as to what caused the event.

“A disruption of the school day like what was experienced today is unacceptable and we will work tirelessly to ensure that the cause of the incident is uncovered and appropriate consequences are rendered,” she said.

After the evacuation, students were sent home for the remainder of the day and school activities were canceled for Tuesday night due to what the school system called a “smoke related issue.”

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The school will be sanitized prior to reopening Wednesday, the Star reported.

“I am extremely proud of the incredible response by our law enforcement, fire department, and first responders during this very active event,” Hammack said. “Additionally, the BGHS students, teachers, and staff as well as our colleagues at Hornet Park and the Beech Grove Community Center were nothing but extraordinary.

“Thankfully, a potentially frightening event ended with a positive and safe outcome.”

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George Upper is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal and was a weekly co-host of "WJ Live," powered by The Western Journal. He is currently a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. A former U.S. Army special operator, teacher and consultant, he is a lifetime member of the NRA and an active volunteer leader in his church. Born in Foxborough, Massachusetts, he has lived most of his life in central North Carolina.
George Upper, is the former editor-in-chief of The Western Journal and is now a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. He currently serves as the connections pastor at Awestruck Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a former U.S. Army special operator, teacher, manager and consultant. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Foxborough High School before joining the Army and spending most of the next three years at Fort Bragg. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English as well as a Master's in Business Administration, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He and his wife life only a short drive from his three children, their spouses and his grandchildren. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and in his spare time he shoots, reads a lot of Lawrence Block and John D. MacDonald, and watches Bruce Campbell movies. He is a fan of individual freedom, Tommy Bahama, fine-point G-2 pens and the Oxford comma.
Foxborough, Massachusetts
Beta Gamma Sigma
B.A., English, UNCG; M.A., English, UNCG; MBA, UNCG
North Carolina
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Business, Leadership and Management, Military, Politics