At least 50 students and a teacher have been hospitalised after inhaling gas at Vukuzakhe High School in Umlazi, Durban.
Rescue Care paramedics spokesperson Garrith Jamieson said that the toxic gas caused the children to have seizures. He added that they were rushed to nearby hospitals to receive emergency treatment.
The Sowetan has reported that an unknown substance exploded, and was subsequently inhaled by a number of pupils and teachers.
“Multiple children sustained some sort of chemical inhalation, and there were some critically injured children that were rushed to a nearby hospital,” Jamieson told eNCA.
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The device believed to have caused the explosion has been handed over to Durban metro search and rescue, and SAPS teams are expected to investigate.
It is not yet known what kind of chemical was inhaled or how dangerous it potentially is, but Jamieson said that multiple patients were collapsing, and a helicopter was used to transport a teacher.
Most students complained of an itchy throat and coughing.
Updates to follow as more information is made available.
(Compiled by Nica Schreuder)