About 50 report illness after choral performance at Malcolm X Elementary

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About 50 students reported feeling dizzy and faint after singing in the Malcolm X Elementary School auditorium Thursday, according to a Berkeley Unified School District statement.

The Berkeley Fire Department was immediately notified after about two dozen students reported feeling ill. Paramedics soon after evaluated the students and decided that none of them needed to be transported to the hospital, according to the statement.

Later in the day, another student, student teacher and teacher reported similar symptoms. Preliminary tests for methane, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide and volatile organic compounds by the Fire Department and an environmental consultant did not identify any hazardous substances in the auditorium that could have caused the symptoms.

“All school families were informed in a phone message from the school about the situation and told they too could choose to pick up their children,” the statement said.

While the school will remain open, the auditorium will be closed as a precautionary measure until further assessment.

Alexandra Casey is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @acasey_dc.