'Air quality' incident evacuates South Mecklenburg High School - | WBTV Charlotte

'Air quality' incident evacuates South Mecklenburg High School

(Dedrick Russell | WBTV) (Dedrick Russell | WBTV)
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Part of South Mecklenburg High School was evacuated Wednesday due to an "air quality" incident within the school. 

The incident happened around 12:30 p.m. in a campus building. Medics arrived and evaluated several students, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools says, and all students and staff are safe.

The principal sent the following message to parents about the situation:

Good afternoon South Meck families,

This is Principal Maureen Furr with an important message. An event in a building on our campus involving air quality has caused an evacuation of students and staff in a section of our campus. Emergency personnel are on campus and investigating. The safety of our students and staff is our highest priority. All students and staff are safe, some parts of our campus are closed off due to emergency vehicles. We will keep you updated as we receive additional information.

Officials are investigating the incident. Students say the air quality was so bad it caused students and teachers to cough. 

"One of the teachers that was currently in the room asked the police officer if there was something wrong," Student McKinley Tickle said. "Cause she started like coughing. So the police officer went in there and started coughing and hacking and the principal was there, and he said we have to close the building."

Students were treated at the scene while the building was evacuated.

"We had a lot of police officers and staff and medical assistance within the building," Tickle said. "They secured the building - made sure nobody was going in and out of there."  

Later in the day, the principal sent an update to parents identifying the problem:

Good afternoon.  

This is Dr. Furr from South Mecklenburg High School with an update. Emergency responders have cleared the building that was impacted by an air quality issue today and have advised us that the issue has been resolved. The incident can be traced to a plumbing back-up creating sewer gas. There is no suspicion of malicious activity related to today's incident. A small number of students were evaluated and a few treated by emergency responders. Parents of those evaluated are being contacted and parents of those who were treated have already been contacted. Throughout the situation, classes have gone on, as usual, a credit to our teachers, staff and students. CMS facilities staff will work to resolve any possible remaining issues before students arrive tomorrow morning. Thank you for your support and confidence in us - we will always keep the safety of our students and staff as our first priority.   

The high school is located in the 8900 block of Park Road.

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