Students stricken by heat at baseball game

An Atlantic League baseball game netted some major league activity for medics in Southern Maryland on Thursday when 82 people — almost all children — suffered heat-related illnesses as they watched the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs beat the Bridgeport (Conn.) Bluefish, 5-3.

Elementary and middle-school age students from Charles, St. Mary’s and Calvert counties were attending an end-of-school excursion at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf when they began falling ill shortly before noon on a record-hot day, said Charles County government spokeswoman Crystal Hunt.

Medics at the game handled the first round of illnesses, but as the throngs of overheated fans swelled, children were evacuated from the park to the counties’ waiting buses to return to their schools. Some children got sick in the lots, others aboard buses that then pulled off the road, and still others back at their schools, Hunt said.

About 70 of the patients were transported by various emergency crews to four hospitals in Southern Maryland, where most were treated and released as of early Thursday night.

Mary Pat Flaherty works on investigative and long-range stories. Her work has won numerous national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize.

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