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Pepper Spray Incident Sends 7 Students to Hospitals

By Emily Morris | January 16, 2013 10:20am | Updated on January 16, 2013 11:48am

CHICAGO — Seven students were taken to local hospitals Wednesday after someone blasted pepper spray at Beasley Magnet School, authorities said.

At least five ambulances were called to the scene at 5255 S. State St. for the incident about 9:15 a.m., according to the Chicago Fire Department.

Fire Capt. Margie Bomben said a student discharged the spray in the school cafeteria and that seven kids were taken in good condition to Mercy Hospital and Comer Children's Hospital.

Officials were speaking to a 10-year-old boy following the incident, which happened about 8:40 a.m., police said. A child might have discharged the spray accidentally or intentionally, police said.

Parents of affected students were immediately notified, a spokeswoman from Chicago Public Schools said via email. All parents of the school's students will receive a letter and a call about the incident, CPS said.

The school will work with the Chicago Police Department to investigate, CPS said.

CPS said they haven't confirmed "what was contained in the liquid," though the fire department's media office said it was pepper spray. 

CPS issued a statement via email Wednesday morning:

"Seven students were transported to nearby hospitals as a precautionary measure after being sprayed with an unidentified liquid by a fellow student this morning," the statement said.

"That student has been removed from the premises. We thank the principal and the Beasley elementary school staff for taking quick and appropriate action to contain this incident and to get the school operating back to normal."