3 taken to hospital after being overcome by chemical odor at Bel Air school

Three adults were taken to the hospital Tuesday morning after being overcome by chemical fumes at St. Margaret School in Bel Air, Harford County emergency officials said. No children were injured.

A chemical odor in the building was reported at 8:30 a.m. Harford County's hazardous materials team and Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company responded and evacuated the building at 205 Hickory Ave., Rich Gardiner, a spokesman for Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association, said.

Three faculty members feeling ill from the odor were taken to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air, while three other adults at the scene refused treatment. Two of the three taken to the hospital had fainted at the school, according to a press release from the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Approximately 18 students were in the building when it was evacuated.

No children complained of symptoms from the odor, which was attributed to the cross-contamination of cleaning solutions, according to the press release. Sean Caine, from the archdiocese, said people reported a strong bleach-like odor.

Shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday, Caine said he did not have any information available on the conditions of those who were hospitalized.

A firefighter was injured during the call. He rolled his ankle while stepping out of an apparatus while cleaning up, Gardiner said.

Firefighters found the source of the odor – cleaning work done inside the building Monday night – and the building was cleared for everyone to return and for classes to resume.

The scene was cleared by emergency personnel shortly after 10 a.m.

Parents were notified of the incident via a robocall from the school.

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