Illness affecting 48 people at charter school remains unexplained

HANOVER, Pa. (AP) — Authorities say they still don’t know what caused the illness of several dozen children and adults at an eastern Pennsylvania school last week, prompting an evacuation .

Chief Scott Van Why of the Hanover Township Volunteer Fire Department told The (Allentown) Morning Call on Sunday that air tests revealed nothing to explain what affected 48 children and adults Friday at the Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School.

Emergency responders were dispatched to the school after nearly a dozen people were reported sick in one of the three buildings. Officials said the building, which houses students in grades seven through 12, was evacuated « out of an abundance of caution, » but normal operations continued in other buildings where younger students are taught.

Susan Mauser, CEO of Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School, said most of those taken to hospitals for evaluation were discharged Friday night, reported.

Fire and hazardous materials officials checked for oxygen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen fluoride and flammable gases and found them all within normal ranges, Mauser said. A visual hazmat inspection also revealed nothing and the HVAC unit was found to be working properly, she said.

The building owner was expected to bring in air quality specialists in the coming days to further assess the building, Mauser said.

The charter school has 1,825 students who come from 16 area school districts.

The Associated Press


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