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Grandview Elementary Dismisses Early Due To Licorice Smell

Reported: Feb. 17, 2014 6:21 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 17, 2014 6:27 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Kennie Bass) - Buses arrive to pick up Grandview Elementary students just after noon at 12:15. The school was let out early after a licorice smell was detected in the building.

"I'm happy we get out of school but I'm kinda worried to drink and use the water because it might not be safe and something might happen," Tiambra Collina, a Grandview 5th grader said.

Question: Could you smell it this morning?

"When you went downstairs you could I couldn't smell it from my room because I'm upstairs," Collins said.

Question: But when you went downstairs you could smell the licorice?

"Uh-huh," Collins said. "We all hurried up and got our lunch and ran upstairs."

The school's principal says several teachers complained of headaches, a burning sensation around their eyes and nose and dizziness.

She says she followed the protocols which have been set up in case of an odor complaint and that the school was closed as a precautionary measure.

"In the morning we had some licorice smell reported in the bathroom that the cooks use in the cafeteria and also in one of the hallways," Erin Sullivan, Grandview principal said. "But we still had teachers complaining of minor irritation, some headaches. One teacher said she felt dizzy."

A rapid response team arrived to check the building and take water samples which will be tested for levels of crude MCHM. Parents and grandparents who had to come pick up their children early say they just want the situation fixed.

"It's frustrating because as soon as they get here it's time to go back," Lisa Carpenter, who has grandchildren at Grandview said. "You know what I mean? And then the water in general. It'll never safe, I don't think. I don't trust the water."

"I just wish they would get it fixed," Charles Westfall, who has children at Grandview said. "It's gone on too long now. I prefer my kids not to be here if something's wrong with the water."

Sullivan said if the tests of the samples taken from the school come back with non-detectable levels of crude MCHM then classes will resume as scheduled on Tuesday.



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