Throngs of first responders descended on Penncrest High School in Delaware County late Friday after more than a dozen football players were overcome by an odor, county officials tell NBC10.
It all started around 10 p.m. as players and coaches returned to the locker room at the school along Barren Road in Media, Pennsylvania after Senior Night activities.
At least 13 people were overcome by the fumes as 911 was called, officials said.
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Penncrest hosted a football game on the campus Friday night. An ozone machine — a device used to purify air and prevent mold — in the boys' locker room caused an "irritant" to some players, Middletown fire official Mark Kirchgasser.
"The football players were all treated by local EMS," Kirchgasser said.
The 13 students were later taken to area hospitals for observation. Symptoms ranged from watery eyes to coughing, officials said, Kirchgasser said.
The students were later released and are "doing fine," the Rose Tree Media School District said in a news release.
County officials called in a hazmat team to the scene.
"We suspect its the ozone purifier that is common in many locker rooms," Kirchgasser said.
"The ozone ceiling unit was unplugged and Delaware County hazmat crews were able to determine within 45 minutes that the locker room air quality was good," the district said.
Someone pulled a fire alarm causing the evacuation of the building.
A later investigation found that the ozone purifier discharge timing was out of sync, causing it to impact people in the locker room, the district said.
"We’re very pleased that all of our students are doing fine and are grateful to the many emergency responders who were on the scene so swiftly," Rose Tree Media School District Superintendent Jim Wigo said. "We felt very supported by our county service providers and are thankful that this situation was resolved so quickly. The safety of our students and staff is always our first priority."
the locker room was clean and sanitized ahead of Saturday's all-day basketball tournament, which was expect to continue as normal.