20 sickened, building evacuated after pepper spray incident at Rockland high school

RAMAPO, Rockland County (WABC) -- At least 20 people were treated after being exposed to pepper spray at a Rockland County high school Thursday morning, prompting an evacuation of the building.

It happened at Ramapo High School, with a spokesperson for the school district reporting that a student brought a key chain of pepper spray or mace into the building.

It somehow discharged, though officials say the spraying did not happen during a fight.

Ramapo police say 19 people were treated at the scene, while at least one person was transported to the hospital after getting a mouthful of the substance and inhaling it.

A security guard who responded to the call for help was also exposed and was among those treated at the scene.

HAZMAT units were using fans to air out the building, while students were placed on school buses to stay warm before being temporarily transported to two other locations.

Tom Carton, Coordinator of Safety and Security, East Ramapo Central School District, released the following statement:

"The Fire Department has confirmed that today's 8:37 a.m. emergency evacuation at Ramapo High School was due to a pepper spray release and has determined the building safe for occupancy. Students were temporarily relocated, but have since returned to Ramapo High School. All normal activities will resume as scheduled."

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