NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Bristol Community College’s Purchase Street campus is closed for the remainder of Thursday due to what the school called a “gas-like smell.”
The school tweeted that it was evacuating the campus and first responders were on site.
Twenty students and staff members experienced trouble breathing and received medical attention, according to a spokesperson for BCC.
New Bedford police said they, along with firefighters and EMS, were dispatched to the campus just before 10 a.m. for a report of an odor, the source of which is now being investigated.
Police also said portions of nearby roadways would be closed until further notice: William Street between Pleasant Street and Acushnet Avenue and Purchase Street between Union and William Streets. Drivers are advised to avoid the area if possible.
Campus operations are expected to resume as normal on Friday.
“The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is always our top priority,” BCC President Laura Douglas said in a statement. “We remain in close contact with those who received medical attention. The college would like to thank the responding public safety personnel, and we appreciate the continued cooperation of our community.”