New Hampshire School Evacuated for Acid Leak

EXETER, N.H. --

Exeter High School was evacuated Tuesday because of a hazardous waste situation.

School officials said a janitor was crushing waste in a trash bin that had two cans of sulfuric acid in it. Some of that acid leaked out, and officials were concerned about vapors causing injuries.

"The only thing that we would really be concerned about with the kids is more of the irritants, the fumes that they might be breathing," said Fire Chief Brian Comeau.

The students were put on lockdown at first before they were sent home early for the day. About 300 staff members were also evacuated.

"We notified parents that something was happening at the building and it was a minor emergency, but their kids were going to be dismissed," said Principal Vic Sokul.

Buses were taking students from the school, and students with cars were free to leave.

Three people, including the janitor, were treated for exposure to the acid at a local hospital, and two others were treated at the school. The school said no students were exposed.

School officials said the acid is commonly used for lab experiments, but for some reason, the cans weren't emptied, and the acid wasn't neutralized.

Classes are expected to resume Wednesday morning.

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