One custodian died and another was being treated at a local hospital after being found in medical distress amid a strange chemical smell in the Fallon Middle School library on Wednesday morning, according to Dublin police.
The incident remains under investigation, and the nature of the victims' medical issues as well as the source of the odor remain unknown, according to Capt. Nate Schmidt of Dublin Police Services. The victims' names have not yet been released publicly.
Dublin Unified School District Interim Superintendent Daniel Moirao issued a statement late Wednesday afternoon confirming the on-campus death of an unnamed member of the Fallon site custodial team and offering condolences to their family.
"Our deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of our lost colleague and also to the students, staff and community of Fallon Middle School," Moirao said. "No matter how strong the Fallon Mustang family is, losing a family member at any time is tragic, but during this time of year, it is devastating."
Police responded to the school on Kohnen Way around 7 a.m. Wednesday after a caller reported two people missing after saying they didn't return home after their shift providing janitorial services at Fallon the day before, according to Schmidt.
Officers found a vehicle belonging to the missing people at the back of the school, and they soon located the missing people -- a 32-year-old man and 29-year-old woman -- in the library suffering from unknown medical issues. The officers also detected "an unknown chemical smell" in the room, Schmidt said.
Officers carried both ailing people outside to the school courtyard, but the man succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Schmidt.
The woman was treated at the scene by Alameda County Fire Department and Faulk Ambulance Services and then transported to a local hospital for further treatment, the captain said.
ACFD's hazardous material support unit was called in to investigate the chemical smell. "After an extensive search of the school, no hazardous chemicals or materials were located, and the area was deemed safe for re-entry," Schmidt said.
The cause of the janitors' medical issues has not been determined, nor has the cause of the man's death, according to Schmidt. The case remains under investigation.
Moirao told the school community he had no new information about the incident to share beyond what Dublin police released publicly.
"As we stated earlier today, you may not have all the information you’d like, but we ask that you avoid speculation and allow our partners at the Dublin Police Department to provide us with the facts. Speculation helps no one," he said.
Moirao also encouraged any student or staff member struggling with the news of the custodian's death to contact the district's counseling team for assistance.
"Finally, I know that this has been a tough year for our community. If we have learned anything in 2020 it is to appreciate what we have and to remember to tell our family and friends that we love them," the interim superintendent said.