NEW BEDFORD — Bristol Community College has released a statement regarding the hazmat situation that occurred at its downtown New Bedford campus earlier today.

According to BCC, public safety agencies responded to a report of an unknown odor at the campus located at 800 Purchase Street at approximately 10 a.m. this morning.

The college says 20 students and employees experienced trouble breathing and received medical attention. They said the building has been evacuated and an investigation is underway to determine the source and nature of the odor.

Out of an abundance of caution, the building will be closed for the remainder of the day and will resume normal operations tomorrow, Friday, November 22.

“The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is always our top priority,” said Laura L. Douglas, President of Bristol Community College. “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.”

The New Bedford Police Department has also reopened the roads that were closed earlier this afternoon, including William Street between Pleasant Street and Acushnet Avenue, as well as Purchase Street between Union Street and William Street. 

The City says that state and local officials remain at 800 Purchase Street as they continue to investigate the report of the unidentified odor.

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