Fire extinguisher discharges in van full of Yuma students

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YUMA, Ariz. -- Several students were transported to a Yuma hospital after they were exposed to a fire extinguisher discharge Wednesday morning.

Paramedics learned that 15 students from Immaculate Conception School, 501 S. Avenue B, had been in a passenger van when the extinguisher discharged.

The dry chemical extinguisher was mounted in a transport van privately contracted by the students' parents, according to Yuma Fire Department spokesman Mike Erfert. The driver got the students out of the van soon after the extinguisher discharged.

Erfert said the students, who were 7 to 10 years old, experienced eye, nose and throat irritation.

Parents were contacted and 11 students were transported to Yuma Regional Medical Center as a precaution. Four other students were evaluated but not transported. There were no serious reactions noted.

The chemical is nontoxic, but in an enclosed space can cause irritations.

It was not determined what caused the extinguisher to discharge.