Pepper Spray Causes Elementary School Evacuation

Students were being treated by medics outside CW Henry Elementary School

Pepper spray was released twice at the Charles W. Henry Elementary School in Philadelphia Tuesday, resulting in an evacuation of the building and 15 students needing treatment, authorities say.

The harsh chemical was sprayed first at about 10:30 a.m. on the school's second floor but only about five students were affected, say school district authorities.

At 12:50 the OC gas was released as students were being let out of class to go to lunch and the entire building had to be evacuated and aired out until about 1:45 p.m.

The non-lethal chemical, which irritates the eyes to cause tears, pain and even temporary blindness, affected 15 students who had trouble breathing, say district officials.

The elementary school at 601 Carpenter St. was evacuated at about 1 p.m. Chopper 10 captured video of students going into an ambulance, and two other students being treated by medics outside of the school.

One mother spoke briefly to NBC Philadelphia, saying that she came to pick up her child and bring her child to the hospital.

How the pepper spray was released is not yet known. District officials say that evidence seems to point to one student.

Philadelphia Police are investigating the incident.

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