Hazmat evacuation at Boonsboro HS found to be Freon leak in school’s mechanical room

03 June 2024- This morning, at 0941 hours, the Washington County Division of Emergency Services, along with units from various county fire and rescue agencies, were dispatched to Boonsboro High School in response to a hazardous material incident. A total of 40 responders are involved in managing the situation.

First Responders deal with a reported Freon-22 leak at Boonsboro High School

The school promptly evacuated students and staff as a precautionary measure, and all individuals were moved to a safe location. Upon arrival, emergency personnel quickly assessed the situation, identifying the nature of the hazardous material. The school was promptly evacuated as a precautionary measure, and all individuals were moved to a safe location. Specialized hazardous material teams worked diligently to identify, evaluate and contain the incident.

Key incident details:

  1. Incident Overview: A substance was discovered in the mechanical room, leading to the immediate activation of emergency protocols.
  2. Evacuation and Safety Measures: Students and staff were evacuated efficiently to designated safe zones. All students were evacuated through areas not affected by the chemical release. There were no EMS transports of students or faculty, and no injuries have been reported. All individuals are accounted for.
  3. Ongoing Investigation & Actions: Authorities have investigated the source of the hazardous material (Halocarbon 22; also know as Freon 22). Ongoing actions are a priority. Emergency responders are working diligently to contain the source, ventilate the building and prepare to turn the incident over to the school board.
  4. On-Site Duration: Emergency services personnel will remain on-site for approximately two more hours to ensure the area is safe and secure.
  5. Communication: Washington County Public Schools promptly notified parents and guardians. Boonsboro High School was dismissed at 1115 hours.

Washington County Emergency Services commend the quick actions of the school staff, Board of Education, and emergency responders in handling the incident. The safety and well-being of the community remain their top priority, they said in a statement.