Floor sealant fumes send elementary school students to Austin hospitals

Image 1 of 2

More than 400 students kindergarten through 5th grade were evacuated from Decker Elementary School Monday morning.

Manor ISD Communications Director Scott Thomas told Fox 7 Austin those students along with faculty were bused over to the nearby Decker Middle School cafeteria while first responders investigated why they suddenly got sick.

"A handful of students reporting that they were feeling nauseous, ill, " Thomas said. "Manor ISD Central Administration officials went to Decker Elementary right away.  The call was made to evacuate the campus at the advice of Austin Fire Department."

Austin-Travis County EMS says 15 students were taken to Austin hospitals along with 4 adults.  All with minor non-life-threatening medical complaints.

"'Facilities' is currently looking at installing air scrubbers, going through, cleaning up any particular areas that could be a hazard," Thomas said.

Thomas says floor sealant is the cause.  The sealant was applied over the weekend and the fumes didn't dissipate as normal because of the weather.

He says that problem has been fixed and the building has been thoroughly inspected by emergency personnel.

The district also alerted parents.

"We sent an all-call through the district parent notification system.  They got a call, they got an e-mail in English and in Spanish," Thomas said.

"They're fine. They're ok," said Decker parent Angela Reyes.  "They said it was a strong smell but you know, they're kids."

We caught up with Angela Reyes who picked her kids up a little after 1.

"It was scary I mean it's always scary when anything happens at a school but the school handled it well and kept the parents informed and kept the kids safe which is the important thing," she said.

Manor ISD was asked during the press conference who will end up footing the bill for the hospital visits...the district hasn't answered that yet.