What caused a Freon leak that sickened 34 students and three adults at Myers Middle School?
That’s the question school officials are still looking into tonight.
The leak sent dozens of students and some staff to the hospital yesterday and the school had to be evacuated.
But after receiving some new information, school officials are now changing their initial thoughts about what could have caused the evacuation yesterday.
They say the HVAC-or heating, ventilation and air conditioning system-inside of the school doesn’t run on Freon at all…It’s actually operated by a water-chilling system.
Now, the question is-where did the Freon come from?
Officials are wondering if it was something foreign could have gotten into the air duct system, but they say they still don’t know at this point.
School officials say Freon is only thing the fire department detected yesterday afternoon, but fire officials say the amount of Freon was too small to cause that many people to get sick.
So the school maintenance and a third-party contractor are taking another step to figure it all out.
“…Both our facilities and maintenance crew and the third-party contractor have taken air quality samples that have been sent out for testing. [We] hope to have results of back sometime [soon] hopefully by next week and maybe get a better idea of that happened,” said Sheila Blanco, the Public Information Manager for Savannah-Chatham County Public School System.
However, after checking the building 3 times– there was something found leaking, but there’s no solid way to connect it to yesterday’s evacuation.
“The facilities and maintenance crew found a freezer in the cafeteria that did have a small leak. I’m told that that freezer is in a self-contained area, so there’s no knowledge at this point of how easily any Freon that could have been leaking from that got in to the air-conditioning system if that’s what happened.”
School officials say it’s not being used while maintenance is waiting on a part to repair it.
Air quality samples have also been taken and sent out for testing.
School officials are hoping for results sometime next week.
Students were back in class on Thursday and school officials say there were no reports of any problems.
The HVAC system was also up and running throughout the day without any issues.