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Noxious odor from bilge and oily water closes Hickam Elementary for day


    Hickam Elementary received the “all-clear” this afternoon after a noxious odor closed the school this morning.


    Hickam Elementary School

Authorities issued an all-clear for Hickam Elementary School this afternoon after tracing the source of a noxious odor to a bilge and oily water treatment system that was being repaired nearby.

All 613 students and 75 adults were evacuated this morning after the strong chemical odor was detected on the campus, which is on Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam. They took shelter at Nellis Chapel and classes were cancelled.

Naval Facilities Hawaii staff, federal firefighters and base security officers responded to the scene and located the source of the smell.

“We are thankful there were no injuries or serious illnesses today, and we are grateful to the first responders who helped us relocate and assess students and faculty,” said Capt. Jeff Bernard, Joint Base commander. “I want to assure parents that we will do everything possible to prevent another incident in which we have to remove students from the school.”

“Thank you to all the parents for your understanding and patience as we work to prevent this from happening again,” said Bernard.

The school will reopen tomorrow.

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