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Thomas A. Blakelock High School evacuated due to unknown substance release

Thomas A. Blakelock High School | Thomas A. Blakelock High School
Thomas A. Blakelock High School | Thomas A. Blakelock High School

Update, 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4: A Halton District School Board spokesperson has said the school will re-open tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. 

Halton police have also released a statement saying they will be investigating what caused today's harmful spill.

Original story follows below:

Thomas A. Blakelock High School in Oakville has been fully evacuated due to a fire, which was later reported to be the "release of an unknown substance." Approximately 1,000 students were evacuated this afternoon.

Halton Regional Police Services and Oakville Fire Department received a call at around 2:30 p.m. for reports of a possible chemical spill. 

A section of the school was initially placed under lockdown after some students had complained of a burning sensation in their lungs and eyes.

According to the Oakville Fire Department, the school initially went into hold and secure but "was then evacuated when emergency personnel determined there were no other threats to students and staff."

One person, a teacher, was transported to hospital with non life-threatening injuries. No other injuries were reported; medical treatment was not needed.

“We do have one teacher who has been transported to hospital with some breathing difficulties, but it’s non-life threatening,” - Deputy Fire Chief Kalpana Rajgopalan.

By the time firefighters were investigating, the substance had dissipated, which led Rajgopalan to believe the substance was "some kind of acrid substance like a pepper spray or bear spray type of product."

It is unclear what caused the incident. Oakville Fire Department remains on scene and investigating.