Hokes Bluff Middle School is closed today (Friday) – after a total of 13 students, and one teacher experienced trouble breathing Thursday morning.
ABC 33/40 is reporting that a total of 24 people from the school sought medical treatment by last night with five being admitted for closer observation.
Police evacuated the school on Thursday morning when several students began to hyperventilate; Principal Greg Watkins stated that the majority of the students were eighth graders and they were in a PE class during the first period of school.
Etowah County School Superintendent Alan Cosby went to the school to meet with investigators – he then went to the hospital to meet with the students and teacher affected; he said at that point, physicians had found nothing.
Reportedly, Alagasco came out and checked for possible carbon monoxide and gas leaks and that proved negative; the Gadsden Fire Department Hazmat Unit checked the facility for any airborne toxins, however everything appeared to be clear.
As a precautionary measure the Middle School is closed today (Friday) – along with Hokes Bluff Elementary School; Hokes Bluff High School is open and will be operating as usual.
School officials have contacted the Alabama Department of Public Health & Emergency Management to request further assistance in investigating the incident.