Pine Grove, SC (Paul Kirby) – The Lexington County Fire Service responded to a hazardous material incident at White Knoll Elementary School Wednesday afternoon. The call for help came in at 4:37 p.m. The first units were mistakenly dispatched to White Knoll High School. It didn’t take long to straighten that out and all first responders were redirected to the elementary school on White Knoll Way.
Hazardous Material units from across the county responded to the incident. Lexington County’s EMS had multiple units and a supervisor on the scene as well. The first caller reported that there might be as many as 16 people affected by the incident. It was not clear how many were students and how many were staff members. We have been told they were dealing with an LP Gas leak but that hasn’t been confirmed by the District or the Lexington County. If that is the case, anyone exposed should recover quickly once they are removed from the atmosphere that’s contaminated. Elementary Schools don't normally have chemicals on had that are extremely hazardous as a high school might.
Just before 5:20 p.m., the on-duty battalion chief from the fire service was directing operations at the school. He had multiple resources at his disposal. EMS units were being directed to the gymnasium where some patients were being assessed. District officials were contacting the parents of students that were affected by the incident in case they needed to be transported to the hospital. The incident commander reported the incident was under control just before 5:30 p.m.
The District’s officials are still gathering information before they release a statement. Chief Communications Officer Mary Beth Hill is aware of the incident, however she will not release anything until she has spoken with school administrators and has the full details of what happened. We will update this story as more become available.