PORT MOODY — It was a frightening morning for some students at a Port Moody elementary school Thursday after several kids felt ill in a classroom.
Emergency crews were called to Aspenwood Elementary just before 11 a.m. to a report of students and a teacher suffering from flu-like symptoms.
In one instance, a child briefly passed out.
The entire school was evacuated over concerns the symptoms were brought on by a gas leak or some type of fumes.
“There was reason to believe there could have been some noxious substance in the school that was causing this effect,” said Port Moody fire chief Remo Faedo.
However, fire crews determined there was no gas leak or any other possible cause for the sickness.
The school was closed for the day, as a hazardous materials team was brought in to perform air tests and clear the building.
The school was expected to re-open Friday.
In all, six people were taken to hospital as a precaution, including two adults
But the morning’s commotion left some students and parents on edge.
Adele Holgate and her daughter Adrienne live just a few doors down from the school.
Adrienne said she was heading back to class after recess when the fire alarm sounded.
After being briefed by the principal, she said her class was led outside.
The Grade 1 student said she didn’t see anyone getting sick, but admitted she and some of her classmates were scared.
“Some were a little bit afraid and some weren’t,” she said.
Meanwhile, Adrienne’s mom heard the sirens from home and then noticed the emergency crews at her daughter’s school.
Holgate was one of several dozen parents who lined up outside the school waiting to take their children home for the rest of the day.
Despite the potential for chaos, she praised the work of both school and emergency officials in their handling of the situation.
“They handled it really, really well,” Holgate told The NOW.
While the mom said she isn’t worried about sending her daughter back to school Friday, Adrienne admitted she is a bit nervous.
Steve Purdy was carrying his Grade 4 daughter Kiera out of the school following the evacuation.
He said the ordeal proved a little overwhelming for his daughter, but she’s OK.
Purdy said he was also a bit nervous when he heard the school had been evacuated, but he gave top marks to school and emergency personnel.
“It’s a little unnerving, but at the same time I know they’re handling it very well,” he said.
And he, like other parents, isn’t worried about sending his daughter back to school on Friday.