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31 students hospitalized from West Side school

Thirty one students at a Humboldt Park school were taken to area hospitals Wednesday morning after suffering what fire officials called “psychosomatic” symptoms during a rally in the school’s auditorium.

The students from Cameron Elementary School on the 1200 block of North Monticello were taken in good condition to various hospitals, according to Fire Media Affairs spokesman Quention Curtis.

An EMS Plan 1 was called at 11:30 a.m. after students reported feeling sick, Curtis said. But firefighters found no toxic gas in the building.

Students complained of having skin irritation, although Curtis called their symptoms “psychsomatic.” One student complained of feeling itchy, and the word spread, he said.

The incident happened during a rally in the school’s auditorium which reportedly involved a demonstration with pies made of shaving cream. Curtis, however, said the children who complained of feeling sick were not involved in the alleged pie situation.

The 31 students, believed to be in the fourth or fifth grades, were in “great shape” and were taken to area hospitals as a precaution, Curtis said.

“There’s no trauma, no injury, no trouble at all,” Curtis said.

The Level 1 HazMat was secured at 12:10 p.m. The children were taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, St. Mary Medical Center and Norwegian-American Hospital.

A Chicago Public Schools spokesperson was not immediately available for comment Wednesday afternoon.



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