14 p.m., at the Fulbert high school, in Chartres (Eure-et-Loir), this Tuesday, June 6. It is not the classic ringing that indicates the end of an hour of school but the alarm that sounded. And it wasn't an exercise. "There was a release of vapours as a result of a mixture of chemicals in one of the specialized rooms of the establishment, specific for chemical preparation," says Lieutenant Emmanuel Moulin, commander of rescue operations.
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On the floors of the high school, a teacher cleaned the room "to prepare for next year," says the senior officer. It emptied all the acids so that they could be recovered by a specialized company. "At the time of handling, there was an exothermic chemical reaction, uncontrolled, which caused heat and splashes of acids that spread on the ground," continues the commander. According to some witnesses, "the vapours were red."
Nearly 1000,<> students had to be evacuated.
Slightly inconvenienced by the fumes, the 47-year-old teacher was transported to the Louis-Pasteur hospital center. One thousand students were evacuated. "During this intercourse, several hundred students were not present in the school," he explains. After checking their health, they were able to return to their homes.
"We thought it was an exercise when the alarm sounded"
On site, at the height of the intervention, 28 firefighters from Chartres, Dreux and Bailleau-le-Pin were mobilized. Some were part of the chemical risk intervention unit. "They neutralized the acids with an absorbent and neutralizing product. We then carried out atmospheric sampling measurements with detectors," explains Lieutenant Moulin. Regarding toxicity, with a threshold reaching 25 to 30 ppm, "there was a risk to humans".
Tables filled with survey data and chemical formulas from specialized firefighters.
Behind the security cord, Stéphane waits. He is a professor of physical sciences, precisely. "The evacuation went well. We thought it was an exercise when the alarm sounded. It's a good practical case but the students are not there to see," he smiles, pointing to the tables filled with survey data and chemical formulas from specialized firefighters. At his side, Frédérique. She teaches classics: "Everything was done calmly. We are waiting for the agreement of the firefighters who have secured the site, to pick up the equipment in class. »
It's 17 p.m., the high school bell rings, the right one this time. The intervention is finalized. Tomorrow, the principal indicated that the two impacted rooms will not be reopened to the public.