Approximately 30 students from Albio Sires Elementary School (Public School No. 4) in West New York were escorted to the hospital after complaining of dizziness from an odor leak within the building.
The West New York Fire Department and EMS from Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in Secaucus, as well as, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, immediately evacuated the building after Superintendent of Schools John Fauta received a phone call from Assistant Superintendent Clara Brito Herrera.
“I got a call from my assistant superintendent, (Herrera), that the building PS No. 4, Albio Sires Elementary School was evacuated because of a possible odor leakage,” Fauta told Hudson County View, noting the call occurred around 12:30 p.m.
“The fire department did call and responded very quickly. They cleared out the building and said everything was okay.”
Following the inspection by the WNY fire department, the children and teachers were sent back into their classrooms.
Afterwards, the EMS dispatched a crew of specialists to ask whether or not the children felt any systems from the lingering stench. Superintendent Fauta explained how parents of the school were notified promptly.
“I’m a parent. I just passed by and noticed all the ambulances. I just found out that my daughter was in the ambulance. She is getting escorted to a hospital. She wasn’t feeling good. There were five or six more ambulances that left to escort children,” said Renata Riccio, a parent of a student at the school.
Riccio said she was notified of the situation by another parent who claimed that students were doing a science project on the third floor of the building when something fell or leaked, which allegedly caused an unbearable odor.
Fauta could not confirm that the odor came from the science lab, but he did state an internal investigation is underway, also noting that the smell may have come from a nearby construction site.