THE BRONX — Four people were injured, including three who were hospitalized, after pepper spray was released at a Claremont Village high school Thursday afternoon, officials said.
The incident comes just two days after nearly three dozen students were injured at a Queens middle school when an 11-year-old girl accidentally released pepper spray at lunchtime.
Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School, 1021 Jennings St., was evacuated after the pepper spray was released in a stairway just after 1 p.m., the FDNY and Department of Education said.
A 16-year-old girl was taken to Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center and was treated for an asthma attack, the FDNY said.
A school safety agent was also taken to Lincoln Medical Center, and a second student was taken to Jacobi Hospital, a DOE spokeswoman said. A school aide was treated at the scene, the spokeswoman said.
"I was walking to class in the stairs and I started coughing a lot," said Pedro Torres, 17, a senior at the school. "I had trouble breathing the whole rest of the day. My throat still hurts."
The school was evacuated about 2 p.m. and students relocated to the nearby P.S. 66, the spokeswoman said. Students were allowed to return to the high school just before 3 p.m.
"Parents of students were notified," the DOE said in an email. "The matter is being investigated."
It's not clear if anyone was in custody or if the release was intentional.
Freshman Timothy Harrison said he was on the second floor when he saw students wheezing and complaining that their chests hurt.
"Everybody was trying to figure out what happened," said Harrison, 15. "We couldn't figure out why nobody could breathe."