Police were talking to a 10-year-old student at a South Side elementary school to determine if the spraying of a substance believed to be Mace in a school cafeteria Wednesday morning that led to several students being taken to hospitals was intentional or accidental.
About 8:40 a.m., a can of Mace was triggered at the Beasley Magnet Academic Center, an elementary school at 5255 S. State St., according to police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli.
About 9:20 a.m., an EMS Plan I response, which sends at least five ambulances, was called for the school because several people were sprayed with pepper spray, according to Fire Media Affairs. According to preliminary reports, a student sprayed Mace in the lunchroom, police said.
"Seven students were transported to nearby hospitals as a precautionary measure after being sprayed with an unidentified liquid by a fellow student this morning," CPS spokeswoman Marielle Sainvilus said in a statement via e-mail. "That student has been removed from the premises."
Seven students were taken to area hospitals as a precautionary measure, according to Fire Media. The hospitals included Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Mercy Hospital, according to police.
Police were speaking to a 10-year-old boy who pulled the trigger on the Mace, to try to determine if the incident was an accident or intentional, Mirabelli said.
Sainvilus added that it has not been confirmed as of later Wednesday morning what was contained in the liquid. She also said parents of the affected students were notified immediately, and a letter and robocalls were going out to all parents notifying them of the incident.
"The school will work in coordination with CPD on this incident and will take all appropriate necessary disciplinary actions," she said.
0927 EMS PLAN I @ 5255 S. STATE. 7 students trans green to various hospitals for accidental discharge of pepper spray. Plan I s/o NFI— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) January 16, 2013
“Several” people were taken to area hospitals, according to Fire Media.
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