Multiple people taken to hospital following hazmat incident at Western Carolina, officials say

North Carolina news

Western Carolina University (Photo by Western Carolina University)

CULLOWHEE, N.C. (WNCN) — At least 17 people suffered symptoms following a hazmat incident at a building on the campus of Western Carolina University Thursday morning, school officials said in a news release.

At 8:56 a.m., the school received a medical call at their Health and Human Services building. Once WCU EMS arrived at the scene, it was determined that there were multiple patients who were in need of medical care, the school said.

Harris EMS was called to the school after multiple students started to complain of light-headedness and other symptoms, officials said. University police, emergency services and facilities management, along with Jackson County Emergency Management and the Cullowhee Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the scene.

After all emergency crews were at the scene, the building was evacuated and locked down.

The North Carolina Rapid Response Team 6 out of Asheville was also requested to assist in determining the cause of the incident.

As of 11:45 a.m., 17 people in total showed symptoms following the incident and multiple people were transported to hospitals in the area, the release said. School officials said a final number of people taken to the hospital had not been determined.

The incident is still under investigation and a cause has not been identified, according to the release.

All day and evening classes at the HHS building, as well as all other scheduled activities there, have been suspended for the day.

Classes and events on the school’s main campus, their Asheville instructional site, and online will continue as scheduled.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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