Anastasia Cunningham, News Coordinator
"It smell bitter, like bitter," was how a Convent of Mercy (Alpha Academy) student described the toxic fumes that affected sections of central Kingston yesterday.
Heading home with schoolmates, their noses and mouths covered with rags and handkerchiefs, the students complained of headache, burning sensation in the throat and tightness of chest.
First affecting workers at the Central Sorting Office on South Camp Road from early in the morning, the fumes quickly spread and engulfed the area, disturbing nearby businesses and schools.
Alpha Academy, Alpha Primary, Kingston College, St George's College, Holy Trinity High School and Jessie Ripoll Primary were among schools that had to be evacuated because of the mysterious fumes. Some businesses also had to close and send home workers.
"This a drama," a Kingston College young man declared, his face covered with a handkerchief.
His schoolmates laughed as they hurried from the school compound.
Some students said they did not smell anything, but did feel "funny", while others complained of flu-like symptoms.
Sections of North Street and South Camp Road were closed to vehicular traffic in the early hours of the day, which allowed the students from the affected schools to freely move in droves away from the threat.
Over by the Kingston Public Hospital, health workers were kept busy, as several affected persons had to be rushed to the emergency room.