Carroll Community College was evacuated after an unidentified odor spread through out the college on Thursday, April, 19. 2012.
After the mysterious odor was noticed by the college’s Public Safety and Security team, they placed a call to the Westminster Police and Fire non-emergency response number. After firefighters arrived on the scene they recommended a Hazardous materials team come to the campus. Carroll County Hazardous Materials specialists confirmed it as a hazmat incident.
“Could be big, could be nothing. We just have to be cautious,” said Lt. Kevin Utz of the Westminster Fire Department, on the scene.
Calls were received across Westminster in regards to the mysterious odor. After a chemical test the Hazardous materials team confirmed that the odor did not originate from Carroll Community College.
Donald Conrad, Special Police Officer of the Carroll Community College Public Safety and Security team, believes the odor originated from fertilizer from a nearby farm and the odor was caught in the school’s ventilation system.
“Better to air on the side of caution,” said Conrad.
“It seems extreme to evac a whole college over the stink of fertilizer. But, understandable too in not wanting to take risks,” said student Jason Bryden. “Still, when you get evacuated your mind thinks of really bad things, not of something so random.”
[thethe-image-slider name=”Carroll Evacuation”]
Officials from the college said the evacuation was quick and orderly. Conrad, who made the evacuation announcement over the PA System, complimented the college’s quick reaction.
Prior to the evacuation, Quill reporter Alison Miller, observed a group of students who mentioned that the smell was starting to make them feel sick. Another group of students mentioned that they were experiencing headaches.
Evacuees stood outside of Carroll Community College waiting to be allowed back into the building as red lights flashed through the night sky.
“I didn’t think anything was wrong,” said student Britni Torres, “I didn’t notice the smell. It was a Westminster smell.”
Ann Wright, Special Police Officer, confirmed that the school will open as normal on Friday.