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Park City High School evacuated over pepper spray release

PARK CITY — The substance in the air at Park City High School making people’s lungs burn and stomachs cramp was pepper spray.

The Park City Police Department says a student called the school and admitted to releasing the pepper spray. Initially, responders thought it might be a gas leak but soon found out it was not.

Police are uncertain how the student got the pepper spray into the air inside the school.

The school remains closed so hazmat responders can air the building out. Park City School District anticipates school to be back in session in the morning.

The evacuation happened after school had ended for the day. The Park City Fire Department says over a dozen people reported symptoms including respiratory distress.

“We’ve had 14 reports of students and faculty being evaluated on scene, complaining of respiratory distress and some with some abdominal cramping,” says Tricia Hazelrigg, a spokesperson for Park City Fire. “While they were being evaluated, some of them had elevated CO levels in their blood. Whether that’s related or not, we don’t know for certain.”

Later, the number of people who were being evaluated was increased to 19. One of them was taken to the hospital.

This article will be updated.