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Poisoned lunch sends three to hospital

Hydrochloric acid put on South High studentâEUR(TM)s lunch

Hydrochloric acid put on South High studentâEUR(TM)s lunch

November 30, 1999|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN ? Three South Hagerstown High School students were taken to the hospital Monday and three others were charged with criminal offenses after chemicals were put on a student's lunch.

School officials learned about 1 p.m. Monday that diluted hydrochloric acid was put on a student's lunch at South Hagerstown High, according to Washington County Public Schools spokesman Will Kauffman. The chemical mixture was taken from a chemistry classroom at the school, he said.

Three students who ate some of the contaminated food were taken by ambulance to Washington County Hospital.

Hydrochloric acid is a clear, poisonous liquid that is highly corrosive, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine's Web site.

Symptoms from swallowing hydrochloric acid can include severe abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, drooling, fever, severe mouth pain, a rapid drop in blood pressure, severe throat pain and vomiting blood, according to the Web site.

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Kauffman said officials did not know what symptoms, if any, the students experienced after ingesting the chemical.

The students were treated and released from the hospital by about 5 p.m., he said. Three students were charged in the incident, but Hagerstown Police said further details were unavailable.

Kauffman said the students were charged as juveniles with attempted poisoning and other offenses.

"This was an isolated incident among some students," South Hagerstown principal Richard Akers said.

Akers said the school would continue to investigate and apply appropriate discipline to whoever was responsible.

Staff Writer Heather Keels contributed to this story.

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