Bomb scare at Surprise high school leads to heat-related illnesses among student, staff

SURPRISE, AZ - A threat from both inside and outside the walls of Paradise Honors High School in Surprise on Thursday as students and staff were forced out of the building because of a bomb threat. 

Outside, students became ill as they began to succumb to the triple-digit heat as police investigated.

At first, Kevin Partida thought it was just an ordinary fire drill.

“After 30 to 40 minutes, I thought it was something serious,” he said.

But as time dragged on, and minutes turned to an hour, and he knew it was something more serious — a bomb threat that he said was written on the walls of a bathroom inside the building. 

Outside he and his classmates waited in the heat as police investigated the matter.

“Everybody was complaining about how they wanted water,” he added.

He noticed some of his classmates begin to get sick. He saw one student get carried away in a golf cart with his head tucked down as he was taken to first responders.

ABC15 received emails from concerned parents who said their students had passed out from standing outside. One parent said his daughter saw three adults and two students be carried away on gurneys to get treatment.

“It was humid that day so, uh, like you started to sweat right away but, it wasn’t extremely hot,” said Kevin. “I was thirsty but it wasn’t like I was dying.”

ABC15 reached out to Paradise Honors High School to ask about how many students were treated for heat exhaustion and if there was anything that could’ve been done differently to help students stay cool during a scary moment but our calls weren’t returned. 

ABC15 also reached out to area hospitals for information on if any patients were seen yesterday in relation to heat exhaustion that came from the school, but at the moment have not heard of anyone being transported to the hospital. Kevin, and a few other people at the school, said they never saw anyone taken away by ambulance.

Kevin added that those who began feeling sick or passed out were immediately taken care of by emergency personnel and given fluids. Kevin and parents ABC15 spoke to said given the circumstances school administrators and emergency responders did the best they could but he would’ve liked more of an effort to get students some water, he said.

“Since they were kind of busy on the bomb threat it's understandable they didn't assist us as much as we wanted,” Kevin added.

He said once inside students were given “all the water they wanted.” 

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