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About 20 Students Stricken Inside Western Carolina Building

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CULLOWHEE — Nearly 20 students were treated for various symptoms after an unidentified problem at a classroom building at Western Carolina University, officials said Thursday.

A statement from the school said officials received an emergency call around 8:56 a.m. from the health and human sciences building. When emergency personnel arrived, they found multiple people in need of care after complaints of being light-headed and other symptoms. Three different local agencies responded to the emergency, the school said.

In all, Western Carolina said 17 people showed symptoms. Some of them were taken to local hospitals. The statement said it's not known exactly how many people were stricken.

The State of North Carolina’s Rapid Response Team 6 from Asheville was requested to assist other emergency personnel in determining the cause of the incident, which is still under investigation, according to the school.

The school's website says the four-story health and human sciences building serves more than 1,200 undergraduate and 300 graduate students. It has at least 11 classrooms and five labs.

Western Carolina is located in Cullowhee, which is about 55 miles southwest of Asheville.