Eleven students had to be evaluated by medics after pepper spray was somehow released inside a classroom at an all-girls school in D.C., fire officials say.
D.C. Fire and EMS said the pepper spray incident happened Wednesday at Excel Academy Public Charter School at 2501 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE.
A total of 11 students were affected by the spray. Fire and rescue workers treated seven of them at the school and one was taken to a local hospital, the department told News4. Three other children did not need treatment.
"My wife got a call from the school saying that my daughter was throwing up... there was some pepper spray sprayed in the school and I've got to take her to the hospital now," said the father of an 11-year-old student. "How did peppery spray get in the school? That's crazy. I don't understand what's going on, but I'm going to carry my daughter up to the Children's Hospital."
Students and parents said the pepper spray filled the school and students could be seen coughing.
"We was in our classroom when we heard that somebody sprayed something and it got spread around the building and that's when people started getting sick," said Deerika Smith, a student at Excel Academy. "People in my class was coughing, but that's all I heard."
"You can smell it in the school when you go in. You can smell that pepper spray," Agnus Davis, Deerika's mother. "I saw them bringing a couple little girls out."
Fire officials said it is not known whether the pepper spray was released accidentally or on purpose.
D.C. police are investigating.
Stay with News4 and NBCWashington as we continue to update this developing story.