On Wednesday, the superintendent reported that the containers of milk and floor sealant had been “apparently mixed up.”
Bridget Weiss, the superintendent, explained that “The floor sealant is a milky substance that also comes in a large plastic bag like the milk and is stored in cardboard boxes.”
The Juneau police are investigating how the bags of the two substances got mixed up.
“We don’t know how that happened, but they were all put on the same pallet,” Weiss told the AP. “That pallet was delivered, and the assumption was that it was milk because that’s what we thought was being delivered.”
According to school officials, the children and two adults complained of “burning” sensations in their mouths and throats and said the milk that was served on Tuesday tasted bad.
NANA Management Services workers, who accidentally served the floor sealant, discovered along with school officials that the milk was “actually a floor sealant resembling liquid milk,” the school district said in its statement. “Staff immediately directed students to stop consuming the substance and removed it.” However, by the time officials realized what the substance actually was, several children and staff members had already ingested it.
The children in the breakfast day care program at the school range in age from 5 to 12. Of the 12 students who were affected, one had to receive medical attention, and two were sent home. School officials immediately contacted poison control.
“When NMS became aware of the incident, we immediately dispatched our safety team to Juneau,” NANA Management Services said in a statement. “We are in the midst of a comprehensive investigation that will look at every contributing factor to determine exactly what happened and to identify potential safety measures.”
According to school guidelines governing chemicals in the building, the sealant poses a low risk of ingestion, and the youngsters “are doing OK” with the exception of a few “upset stomachs.”