HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – A 13-year-old boy has died after being exposed to fentanyl and collapsing at a school in Hartford last week.
On Saturday just after 5:35 p.m., the boy succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin released a statement Saturday evening, which read in part: “We still have much to learn about the circumstances of this tragedy, and about how a child had access to such a shocking quantity of such deadly drugs, and our police [department] will continue their investigation and seek to hold accountable the adults who ultimately are responsible for this child’s death.”
Hartford Police responded to The Sport and Medical Sciences Academy Thursday on the report of an unconscious male juvenile. Bronin said the seventh-grader had collapsed in the school gym. First responders started CPR when they arrived and transported the boy to the hospital for treatment.
Two other individuals complained of dizziness and were also taken to the hospital for evaluation, police said. They were later released.
The school entered a “Code Yellow” to shelter in place and multiple drug detecting canines were deployed to the school to do a safety sweep for any other potential narcotics. Students were dismissed from the school at around 3 p.m. without any further issues.
At a press conference Friday afternoon, Hartford Police Lt. Aaron Boisvert said investigators found 40 small bags of what was later determined to be fentanyl in powder form during a search of the school. The bags were found in two classrooms and the gymnasium.
Two other students who came in contact with the substance have been released and are at home, Boisvert said.
Police believe the three students came into contact with the fentanyl at the same time. Police said they believe a student brought the bags of fentanyl into the school.
Before any of the students at the school left for the day, they had to go through a decontamination process.
“Students and teachers and anybody that was in the school had to walk through a solution of bleach and OxiClean, which dissolves and neutralizes the fentanyl before they were allowed to leave the building,” Thody said.
Crews in hazmat suits also scrubbed down classrooms and filtered the air to decontaminate the school fully.
“Fentanyl is a poison, these drugs are a poison, and please if you’re a parent, have that tough conversation with your child tonight, that if anybody offers or suggests that they experiment with or ingest some substance they think is a drug or they don’t know what it is, don’t do it, stay a mile away and for God’s sake please report it so that we can try to protect your child, their friends and every kid,” Bronin said.