About 10 PSJA students exposed to tear gas

SAN JUAN — Students, a few parents and teachers tending to animals at the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo school district Ag Farm on Wednesday afternoon were exposed to tear gas coming from the adjacent police training facility in San Juan, school district officials confirmed on Thursday.

Approximately 10 students, one teacher and several parents were present when the tear gas leaked into the facility, located at 301 Hall Acres in San Juan, said Arianna Vasquez-Hernandez, spokesperson for PSJA school district.

The incident happened at around 5 p.m. Two students were taken to the hospital that same day and later released, she added, while others have since been taken to their family doctors as a precaution.

“Because at the Ag Farm they go during different times during the morning, late evening, to feed the animals, we did have approximately 10 students there — parents and a teacher tending to the animals,” she said.

Exposure to tear gas causes irritation to the eyes, nose, mouth and lungs leading to difficulty breathing and irritation in eyes, mouth and skin. The gas is not known to cause long-term damage.

School district officials have yet to confirm exactly how or why the incident happened and San Juan Police Chief Juan Gonzalez could not be reached for comment as of Thursday afternoon.