Inquirer staff writer Barbara Boyer reports:

Emergency crews rushed to a South Philadelphia elementary school this morning after students said they smelled noxious fumes.

Authorities determined that pepper spray had been released on the third floor of the Alcorn Elementary School at 32nd and Dickinson Streets about 10:30 a.m., said Fernando Gallard, a spokesman for the school district.

Five students and one teacher were treated at the scene after having breathing difficulties from inhaling the fumes, Gallard said.

Ambulances were at the school but no one was taken to the hospital.

How and why the pepper spray was released is still under investigation.

Contrary to early reports the school was not evacuated, Gallard said. However, all students and faculty were relocated to the first floor while emergency crews responded to the cleanup efforts.

The school has 568 students.


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