Odor forces evacuation of Hawaii Kai elementary school

Odor forces evacuation of Hawaii Kai elementary school

HAWAII KAI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A strong odor forced the evacuation of about 450 students and staff from Kaimiloiki Elementary School in Hawaii Kai and sent two children to an area hospital to be evaluated Tuesday morning.

School officials tell Hawaii News Now the strange odor sickened about 20 kids. One child described the smell as "burnt rubber" another said it was "wood burning or gasoline".

The school released this alert, "Due to an odor on campus, we will be walking students to Kaiser High School. Please plan to pick your child up at Kaiser High School around 11:30 a.m. Students on a field trip will also be dropped off there. Make sure to sign your child out at Kaiser High School."

Department of Emergency Services spokesperson Shayne Enright elaborated on the evacuation.

"Many of them walked, but some of them we did transport in the ambulance. We also did take two children, two females, 10 years old, to Children's Hospital. They were in stable condition, but for precautionary measures we took them for examination."

The students who went to Kaiser stayed in the shade out front, waiting for parents to pick them up.

Many students missed the episode entirely, as a group of kindergartners and first graders were on a field trip. Their buses dropped them off at Kaiser as well.

"I'd hate for anything to happen to any of the other kids but I'm just thankful that he was on the field trip today so that did eliminate a lot of the initial concern," said Justin Keane, whose son was on the field trip.

Authorities were unable to determine what the odor was, where it came from, or who caused it.

"We don't have any facts to establish somebody discarding a chemical.  Most times when we have events similar to this it's someone who's misapplied the chemical," explained Captain Seelig.

School will be back in session on Wednesday, "We have the all clear and school will be in session tomorrow as usual.  Just as a precaution, EMS suggested having students drink lots of water and fluids tonight. Thank you again. Mahalo to our staff, Kaiser High School and emergency personnel for keeping our students safe," said Kaimiloiki Elementary principal Susan Okano.

On Monday, ten people were treated by paramedics at two Leeward Oahu elementary schools when a neighbor used the pesticide malathion in too great a concentration.

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