Classes cancelled after students faint

Classes were cancelled and about 500 children were sent home from a Port Moody, B.C., elementary school after two students fainted and at least six were taken to hospital, said officials with the local school district and fire department.

Not long after the incident, which occurred Thursday morning during singing rehearsals at Aspenwood elementary, the school's principal called in emergency officials, said Cheryl Quinton, a spokeswoman with the Coquitlam school district.

"The principal called the paramedics, and they recommended that as a precaution, they didn't see anything overtly evident, but just as a precaution take them to hospital and get them checked out."

Initially, Quinton said two students were taken to hospital, but Remo Faedo, Port Moody's fire chief, said at least six were taken to hospital.

Faedo said one of the children passed out, was injured and started bleeding.

Faedo said after arriving on scene, fire officials activated the fire alarm and evacuated the school because other students were complaining of flu-like symptoms and there was potential that there could be an atmospheric problem in the school.

He said firefighters determined there wasn't a problem, so they brought the students back into the gymnasium, but also conducted more tests.

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