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12 Students Hospitalized After Pepper Spray Released at Jamaica HS Building

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | January 13, 2015 6:40pm
 At least a dozen students were hospitalized after a pepper spray incident at the former Jamaica High School Tuesday.
At least a dozen students were hospitalized after a pepper spray incident at the former Jamaica High School Tuesday.
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

QUEENS — A dozen students were taken to a local hospital after someone released pepper spray at the former Jamaica High School Tuesday, forcing the school to be briefly evacuated, city officials said.

The incident took place around 12:45 p.m. at the school, at 167-01 Gothic Drive in Jamaica Hills, according to fire officials.

Police said that 24 students and their teacher were in the hallway on the third floor, moving from one classroom to another, when the substance was detected. 

Sources said that it was unclear who sprayed pepper spray.

The students, ages 11 and 12, who were exposed to the substance, were taken to Queens General Hospital. One of the hospitalized students, who suffers from asthma, had difficulty breathing; the others were taken as a precaution, fire and police officials.

Sources said that the school was evacuated for about 15 minutes. Students were brought back in after the FDNY and the NYPD cleared and ventilated the area, sources said.

The Department of Education said that school personnel have been at the hospital and additional school safety support has been provided on campus.

Jamaica High School was closed last year, but the building still houses several other schools, including Hillside Arts and Letters Academy, Queens Collegiate and High School for Community Leadership.