Kailua School Closes Due to Chemical Odor

Shantel Pestana (l)
Shantel Pestana (l)
Liz Keller
Liz Keller

KAILUA (KHNL) Sixteen students were taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after being exposed to a strong chemical odor. KHNL News 8 spoke with concerned parents and students. No one was seriously injured, but the incident was alarming enough to shake up the small Kailua private school.

Classes were cancelled at redemption academy in Kailua after students started complaining of a foul odor on campus.

"At around 10:45, EMS personnel arrived on the scene to find about eleven children ranging from ages ten to eighteen complaining of dizziness, nausea, some of the children had headaches" said EMS spokesperson Bryan Cheplic.

"It could be sewage, or something that is rotten somehow." said neighbor Clyde Aberilla.

 The smell was so strong it sent four more students and the school's secretary to Castle Medical Center. 16 year old Shantel Pestana was one of the victims.

"I'm sick and nauseous and just not well. I got really bad headache."

Shantel was in class when she started to feel sick.

"They're young people and they're susceptible to things like that" said Liz Keller, grandmother of a student.

The classrooms have jalousie windows. Students say they smelled the strong odor blow into the classrooms through the windows.

"Apparently they are cleaning some of the sewage pipes around here. They're transporting some of the sewage waste' said Cheplic.

A city spokesman says a city contractor emptied wastewater into a manhole on the next street over. The odor escaped and drifted toward the school. Since then, the city has placed an odor monitoring device near the school.

"You think the city would be more aware of stuff like this happening. And kind of like trying to avoid stuff like this from happening." said Aberilla.

The odor monitoring device will be in place for three to four days. In the meantime, classes will resume Thursday.