Clayton Heights Secondary students learning in the cafeteria after a small chemical spill shuts down part of the school. (chslearn / Twitter)

UPDATE: Clayton Heights Secondary evacuates after science lab mishap

Emergency officials called in to clean up ‘spilled substance’ in high school science lab

Clayton Heights Secondary was evacuated on Wednesday morning following a “small spill” in one of the high school’s science labs.

“It was in a contained area in one of the science labs,” said Doug Strachan, Surrey Schools communications manager.

“Lithium had gone down the drain, which has the potential to be flammable,” he said.

The school was evacuated as a precaution, which Strachan said was the right response.

Surrey Fire Battalion Chief Reo Jerome confirmed that it was a “small chemical spill” and that the teacher “erred on the side of caution” when they called for an evacuation after checking in with the fire department.

Students and staff were let back into the building at 12:30 p.m., about an hour after the evacuation was called.

“Half of the students are not in their regular classrooms,” said Strachan, explaining that the rooms adjacent to the science labs have been cordoned off for safety.

There is a hazmat recovery team on site cleaning up the spill and removing the chemicals from the pipes, and Strachan said students and staff will be able to return to all Clayton Heights classrooms tomorrow morning.

Until then, students and staff have set up in the school cafeteria, the gymnasium and other spaces. One photo tweeted out by the Clayton Heights Secondary account is captioned with, “Classrooms evacuated but learning happens anywhere.”

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