Up to 40 students mysteriously fell ill at a school in northern England on Wednesday. Police are reporting that the incident, which left medical emergency services scrambling for an explanation, occurred at the Outwood Academy School in Ripton. The afflicted students were treated by medical crews on-site.
The Outwood Academy School has over 600 students age between 11 and 18, and is located near the Yorkshires Dales national park.
The local Yorkshire Ambulance Service received an emergency call between 11:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. with reports that a number of students had started to feel ill, with complaints of nausea and feeling faint during an Armistice Day ceremony at the school hall.
A number of resources were dispatched directly to the Outwood Academy School including a doctor, three ambulance crews, two rapid response vehicles, and a number of clinical supervisors. Students were treated at the school on Clotherholme Road. A hazardous materials team was also in attendance.
A parent of one of the students confirmed that a couple of students had collapsed during the ceremony, and that’s when the fire brigade was called. A statement issued by the school stated that out of the four students that fainted, only one was taken to a walk-in center for treatment involving a bumped head.
Another pupil said that classes continued as normal during the afternoon, but that other students had complained of feeling sick and of suffering from headaches afterward.
Police and fire services are investigating the cause of the incident; however, The Daily Mail newspaper reported that a gas leak may have factored in and that a teacher had also been affected.