May 21, 2015 1:19 PM

Science class pigs to blame for hazmat response at Hillsboro-Deering High School

HILLSBOROUGH - High school students were evacuated when several students complained of a strange odor in the school’s science wing.

The substance turned out to be formaldehyde-like and used to pack and transport pigs to school for dissection.

Staff and students were evacuated to the middle school gym and dismissed for the day.

“The principal, Mr. O’Rourke, went over the intercom and said we need to be evacuated,” said student Abbey Stafford.

“They just basically told us to be with our homeroom teachers and stuff," 11th-grader Rhiannon Talotta said. "Just wait for updates, and then we were told to go home.”

Hazmat crews as well as fire and police crews from three different towns responded to assess the situation.

They were able to locate the odor in the school’s science wing, inside a biology lab.

No one was physically hurt but seven students were medically evaluated on scene after complaining of headaches and nausea. Those seven students called and notified their parents to pick them up.

After the dismissal, the school’s website was updated with a notification about what had happened. At least three different parents told NH1 News they have signed up for emergency emails and voice messages from the district but had to drive to school to get any information.

“I tried calling the school and obviously no one answered," said Stacy Theberge, an upset parent. "I went on the website ... nothing on the website. So I ended up just driving here to find out they have been sent home.”

Fire officials said school should resume as normal tomorrow.

Crews were cleared from the scene by 1p.m.

The superintendent invited any parents who were late to be notified to call his office so they can work out the issues so they do not happen again.

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