The Hightstown High School evacuation on Friday morning, which was prompted by a teacher feeling sick from fumes within the science lab, was caused by chemical fumes trapped within a fume hood that was not properly ventilating, according to Hightstown Police Director James LeTellier.
Police and the Hightstown Fire Department responded to the scene at around 8:45 a.m. to check the area and help evacuate the school. Students were sent home early and three teachers were sent to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in Hamilton, the one teacher who initially felt ill from the fumes and two others who complained of headaches as a result of the gas, according to police.
West Windsor Township and Trenton Fire Department Hazardous Material Response Teams arrived at the school and determined that the chemical fumes were the result of a previous science experiment that had built up in a laboratory fume hood inside of the science lab. The haz-mat teams ascertained that the chemical gas had become trapped incise of the fume hood because it was not ventilating correctly, police said; the rest of the science lab and high school were not affected by the gas.
Additionally, the East Windsor Fire Department, West Windsor Fire Department, Trenton FIre Department and hazmat teams from the Hamitlon Police Department responded to the scene along with Capital Health Emergency Medical Services, Cranbury, EMS, Monroe EMS, Princeton EMS, and Robbinsville EMS.