Are high school music bands considered pests? That is probably what a pilot with the Brazoria County Mosquito Control District in Texas thought when he accidentally sprayed down thousands of liters of pesticide from his mosquito control plane on to a practicing school band.
According to USA Today, the incident happened near the premises of the Pearland High School at around 8 am, local time. Over 350 members of the high school marching band were practicing when the plane filled with pesticide flew over them and doused them with the chemical. A member of the band Karleigh Fletcher later told reporters:
“It was pretty much right over us. I was just surprised, if it was really pesticide, why would they be doing it over 300 kids?”
It is unclear as to how the goof up happened.
While none of the students were seriously injured after the pesticide attack, several students reported coughing, sneezing, and rashes following the incident. Emergency services were called in and after checking their health, the students were sent home. The kids were told to shower for 25 minutes and to wash their clothes and instruments to remove any traces of remaining pesticides on them.
School principal Larry Berger has termed the incident a “freak accident.” He said:
“They didn’t know we were here and we didn’t know they were coming.”
Meanwhile, Brazoria County Mosquito Control authorities say that the pesticide spraying incident was a genuine error on part of the pilot, and that he had not seen the practicing students below. They also clarified that the pesticide used in this particular spraying incident was harmless to humans and could be easily washed off without adverse effects.
Officials have added that they plan to continue spraying the area with pesticide in the days to come as well. As a precautionary measure, the school band has decided to practice indoors.
[Image Via Wikimedia Commons]