The patients -students and faculty of Cardinal Gibbons High School- experienced symptoms such as headaches, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, seizures and, in some cases, people passing out.
Three local hospitals were alerted to the situation at around 11:30 and the affected were transported, where they remain in medical care. Upon arrival of the fire department, Hazmat crews tested for over 5,000 chemical compounds and checked for gas leaks.
“There was nothing found in any of the Hazmat sweeps,” Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan told the Sun-Sentinel. “There is no rhyme or reason at this time. We really don’t know. It’s very, very weird.”
Despite little found at the scene, there was significant doubt that the illnesses were faked, possibly related to a prank or social stunt.
“It was too many students and too widespread,” Gollan said of the incident.
All of the affected individuals are reportedly stable and feeling much better, according to the battalion chief.
“They are all improving and their blood work came back negative,” he said.
The situation remains under investigation, and those not affected were released at regular time.