Box of spices puts Rondout schools on hazmat lockdown

Photo of Indian spices by Flickr user Francis Bijl. Published under Creative Commons license.

File under: Better safe than sorry.

Rondout Valley High School and Middle School were put under a brief lockdown around 10am on Monday, March 12, when a FedEx driver making deliveries in the area near the school maintenance facility on Kyserike Road in Rochester began suffering some mysterious malady that was traced to fumes coming from a box in the truck.

The Ulster County Sheriff's Office reports that the area was shut down, law enforcement and emergency first responders were called in, and a Kingston Fire Department hazmat team was deployed -- only to discover that the box contained "dry spices and mustards from India."

Both the FedEx driver and an employee at the Rondout Valley Central Schools maintenance facility were treated at the scene, but neither was hospitalized.

Responding to the incident: Ulster County sheriff's deputies, the Accord Fire Department, the Kingston Fire Department, Kerhonkson Accord First Aid Unit, New York State Police, Mobile Life Support Services, administrators from the Rondout Valley Central Schools, FedEx personell and the Ulster County Office of Emergency Management.