RIDGELAND -- Dozens of fans were being screened Friday night by emergency responders after odor from a ventilation unit sickened several players and spectators at a high school basketball game.
At least two people were taken to the hospital after the odor spewed from the heating and air conditioning unit at Ridgeland High School in the southeastern part of the state, Mayor Gary Hodges said.
No serious injuries were reported, and the mayor said he did not suspect foul play.
Between 200 and 300 people were at the game when the unit at the 3-year-old school turned on, sickening a basketball player and then others, the mayor said. Illnesses ranged from nausea and vomiting to skin irritation.
"We don't know what we're dealing with," Hodges said.
The players and fans were moved from the gym to another part of the school, and small groups were going through a decontamination process that involves answering questions from emergency responders.
Those feeling ill must go through a more rigorous process that involves taking off their clothes to look for redness and spots.
After they left the gym, irritation subsided for the several people who initially had it.
Hodges said local hazardous materials teams were on hand, and the state Department of Health and Environmental Control was on its way.
"We're going to be here for hours finishing this decontamination process," the mayor said.