Firefighters at the scene of the emergency at Woolgoolga High School yesterday.
Firefighters at the scene of the emergency at Woolgoolga High School yesterday. Frank Redward

Powder scare closes school

WOOLGOOLGA High School students had the day off yesterday after a hazardous material scare.

Emergency services were called at 7.10am when cleaners stumbled across a yellow ‘powdery substance’ in the office area.

Hazardous materials specialists from Coffs Harbour Fire Station were called to the scene, along with police and firefighters from Woolgoolga and Sawtell and paramedics crews.

Four people came into contact with the substance and had to be decontaminated at the scene. They were checked by paramedics and later released in good health.

Acting station commander at Woolgoolga Fire Station, Drew Armitage, said the duty inspector from Port Macquarie was called to oversee the operation.

“The school was quarantined and students and staff were turned away while samples were taken by police forensics for analysis,” Mr Armitage said.

“We are waiting on those results to determine the clean up.”

The Department of Education said school will return to normal today.

“The school was closed as a matter of course,” a department spokesman said yesterday.

“Emergency services have determined the substance was not hazardous or toxic and the school will be operating as normal tomorrow.”



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