Unforgotten yet Unknown: H Building Evacuation

Monday, February 11, during third period, the H building was evacuated due to a common set of symptoms among many teachers and students in the building. Both instructor Ms. Aslin and freshman Michelle Maizel were taken to hospitals due to the occurrence. Although the catalyst has not yet been identified, it is commonly believed that the cause was carbon monoxide.

Common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dull headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision, and loss of consciousness. Of these eight symptoms listed, H building teachers collectively reported having five.

The story goes like this. Digital Media and Graphic Design instructor Ms. Aslin began to feel horrible during third period, later claiming dizziness, shortness of breath, and tingling extremities. She went around to other instructors’ rooms and heard similar reports of similar symptoms. Therefore, she filed a report and the building was evacuated during the third period.

Evacuated students and teachers were sent to and remained in the cafeteria for the remainder of the period, and the building remained vacant for the remainder of the day. All H building classes were held in the library as the situation was further investigated.

In an interview with Freshman Michelle Maizel, who fainted at school after exposure, Journalist Viktoriia Udovichenko learned the following information. After Maizel’s exposure and the evacuation of the H building into the cafeteria, Maizel, who already felt poor, fainted in the bathroom while trying to wash her face. Her friend was there to help her up. Maizel thought her sickness would depart from her as the day continued, but it only intensified. She finally called her parents at the start of seventh period. They took her to the ER of a nearby hospital. There, Maizel was given an oxygen mask in order to replace the carbon monoxide in the blood with oxygen at a more rapid rate than normal air. The doctors wrote Maizel a note stating she could not come to school the next day as if the carbon monoxide lingered, the second exposure would have worse effects than the first.

In an interview with Dr. Cassady, Journalist Kael Landenberg was informed. “[There had been] cold air for the last couple of days, so they came in this morning to check it and to turn the heat back on. And when the did turn the heat back on around ninish, it started to feel a little coozy.” Cassady continued. “We came out here because all of us were having problems. We were all feeling it. Because when the heat, if it's not engaged, what ends up happening is instead of blowing the heat out safely, it blows out carbon monoxide.”

As of March 20, the H building teachers have not been informed of the cause of the evacuation nor the specific gas that caused the evacuation.

All the students of the H building waiting in the cafeteria post evacuation.

Photo Credit: Kael Landenberg

H Hallway was completely empty after the evacuation caused by a carbon monoxide leak.

Photo Credit: Paul'Jacob Barney

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