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Practical Joke At D.C. High School Triggers Massive Emergency Response

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 A last emergency vehicle prepares to leave St. John's College High School in Northwest D.C. October 16. 
Armando Trull
 A last emergency vehicle prepares to leave St. John's College High School in Northwest D.C. October 16. 

 A "practical joke gone awry" at a D.C. area private school today is likely to land at least a few students in the principal's office. What was thought to be chemical spill at St. John's College High School this morning turned out to all be a false alarm, school officials say.

The scare involved nearly a dozen students complaining of eye irritation and triggered a large response from  D.C. Fire and EMS crews. Seven students were evaluated and treated and released to their parents.

Half a dozen emergency units responded to the Catholic preparatory school on Military Road in Northwest D.C. after school officials alerted them to a possible hazmat spill. No students were transported to the hospital, and crews sealed off and then ventilated the affected classroom, a computer lab. 

Later, school officials said the incident was the result of a practical joke.

"It's been determined the event was the result of a student practical joke gone awry," school officials said. It's not clear how much the joke will cost the city — or whether the jokester or jokesters will be held accountable.


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