West Harrison students evacuated after freon leak discovered

By Meggan Gray - bio | email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The students and staff of West Harrison High School were evacuated Friday morning after a freon leak

Hazmat teams rushed to the school on County Farm Road to investigate. Students were brought to the high school football field where they staged an impromptu pep rally. Teams of firefighters then went room to room to make sure everything was okay.

The situation is under control, and school officials said the students will return to their classes as soon as the room to room search is complete.

Crews still don't know exactly what caused the leak.

"That's what we're trying to determine right now," Harrison County Fire Marshal George Mixon said. "We know we have an issue with a 30 pound freon cylinder in a mechanical room that we're working on in the air conditioning system. It's too early in this stage to give a pinpoint, but those are what we're looking at."

According to Mixon, large amounts of freon can cause respiratory problems. Officials decided to evacuate the whole school as a precaution, because they didn't know how much they were dealing with.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.