Watertown BOE: Students sickened from overheating

- FILE - Gordon C. Swift Middle School (WTNH / Keith Porter)

WATERTOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — Swift Middle School in Watertown remains closed Friday after 40 students were taken to the hospital after feeling sick Thursday.

Officials spoke with News 8 Friday morning to confirm that classes are canceled Friday, but all staff is to report.

Dr. B. Heston Carnemolla, Watertown Superintendent of Schools, issued the following statement Friday morning:

The Fire Department has rechecked the building and deemed it safe to open. However, we are closing for students only. Staff will report, we will continue to investigate the situation by debriefing with staff, the fire department, and the police department. Students may come to retrieve any items they may have left during the evacuation.

Just after 11 a.m., a student at Swift Middle School in Watertown passed out in the auditorium. When the fire department arrived, several more students, eventually snowballing into 40 students, reported symptoms.

Related Content: Officials conducting air testing after students get sick at Watertown middle school

Board of Education Chair Leslie Crotty says that after interviews with parents and students, they discovered that 140 students were on stage and it became very hot in the auditorium. Crotty said the area became warmer than usual and the air-conditioner did not kick on because it is not set to work in December.

Parents said that once the kids took off their heavy clothes, they felt better.

Right now, the Board of Education is concluding that the students overheated.

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