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UCA building evacuated, cause of illness a mystery

University of Central Arkansas’ Burdick Hall was evacuated Thursday morning after several people inside reported feeling ill. 5 students, 5 police officers, and 1 medical responder had to be hospitalized, and the cause of their illness is still unknown.
Burdick Hall was evacuated for air quality concerns (UCA)
Burdick Hall was evacuated for air quality concerns (UCA)
Burdick Hall was evacuated for air quality concerns (UCA)
Burdick Hall was evacuated for air quality concerns (UCA)

CONWAY, AR – University of Central Arkansas’ Burdick Hall was evacuated Thursday morning after several people inside reported feeling ill. 5 students, 5 police officers, and 1 medical responder had to be hospitalized, and the cause of their illness is still unknown.

“Conway Fire Department went through to try to locate the source of what may be a mechanical air quality issue,” said Arch Jones, with the UCA Police Department.

Students complained of nausea and dizziness. All 11 taken to the hospital have since been released. UCA will keep Burdick Hall closed until it is safe to hold classes again.

“Any time our students are experiencing difficulty, were going to take it very seriously,” said Jones.

Three classes were in session (about 45 students) when the building was evacuated and classes cancelled. UCA is in summer session, so there weren’t nearly as many students in the building as there would have been during the fall or spring semester. However, classes are worth more.

“You miss a day and you feel like you’ve missed a week of normal classes,” said student Chase Mitchell.

Friday morning, students will be back at class, albeit for some, in a different building. The Conway Fire Department will also be at UCA in the morning, continuing to investigate the source of the illness in Burdick Hall.

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