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NYC elementary school students exposed to pepper spray in cafeteria

NYC elementary school students exposed to pepper spray
NYC elementary school students exposed to pepper spray 00:51

NEW YORK -- Dozens of students and teachers were accidentally exposed to pepper spray at an elementary school in New York City on Thursday. 

Police and EMS were called after 31 students and nine adults became ill from the irritant in the cafeteria at P.S. 219 in Queens. 

Pepper spray incident at P.S. 219 in Queens 

The canister of pepper spray exploded in a student's bag when someone sat on it, according to NYPD.

It happened just before 11 a.m. 

"The safety of everyone in our school buildings is our absolute top priority. A pepper spray device was discharged in a school cafeteria, and all impacted students and staff were immediately evaluated by EMS. We are offering additional security and supports to the school community today and in the coming days and are working closely with the NYPD regarding follow-up actions. A reminder for parents, pepper spray and other 'personal safety devices' are not allowed in schools," said a statement from David Clarke, deputy press secretary for NYC Public Schools. 

Eight students and two adults were taken to the hospital in stable condition, according to NYC Public Schools.

No one was seriously harmed, according to the city. 

P.S. 219 serves students in pre-K through 8th grade, according to the NYC Public Schools website.

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