Students allowed back in building at Absegami

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Absegami Absegami

GALLOWAY – Absegami High School was temporarily evacuated shortly after 9 a.m. today - Thursday, May 9.

A chemical spill in the second-floor chemistry lab was the preliminary reported cause for the action.

While no injuries were reported initially, according to Police Detective Sgt. Donna Higbee, the department public information officer, later in the morning, up to six patients were expected to be transported to the hospital with symptoms, according to radio dispatches from the scene.

The situation was declared under control just before 11:30 a.m. and emergency response units were clearing the scene by about 11:45 a.m. 

Students were allowed back in the building just before noon today, according to the Galloway Township Fire Department.

Police and firefighters along with local EMS, and the AtlantiCare/New Jersey EMS Task Force Medical Ambulance Bus were among the units dispatched to the school.

News helicopters also circled overhead.

A number of parents waited outside the barricaded entrance to the school off Wrangleboro Road shortly after being notified of the situation by a telephone alert system, but the total dwindled to a handful by the time they were cleared to enter the grounds.

Afruza Mannan and Nasrin Munny waited to take their children home after what they said was a harrowing morning standing outside the building.

Mannan has a son in 11th grade and a daughter in ninth. Munny’s son is a freshman.

“I heard from my son right away,” Mannan said. “But I didn’t hear from my daughter for a long time. She left her phone inside, in her bag, when she evacuated the building.”

The Mannans and Munnys both emigrated here from Bangladesh.

“With all the bad things that are happening lately we have to be concerned when the children are forced from their school,” Mannan said. “We came to America because it is safe.”

Bangladesh, she said, is still a very poor country.

“The most recent tragedy there is the collapse of a building,” Mannan said. “More than 900 people died – and they were mostly women. It was a garment factory building.”

Nasrin Munny, left, and Afruza Mannan after hearing that their children were OK. (Steve Prisament) Nasrin Munny, left, and Afruza Mannan after hearing that their children were OK. (Steve Prisament)


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