School bus evacuated, 911 called over the smell of too much Axe Body Spray

How much Axe Body Spray is too much Axe Body Spray? When it's enough to stop a bus.

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By Scott Stump

A middle school student put on enough Axe Body Spray to stop a bus.

The local fire department and emergency medical services responded to a report of "hazardous materials" aboard a bus of middle school students in Parrish, Florida, on Monday afternoon after the bus driver pulled over due to students complaining about a noxious smell.

A Florida middle school student demonstrated how much Axe Body Spray is too much Axe Body Spray in a school bus incident this week. Getty Images/ Parrish Fire District

Parrish Fire District Division Chief Mike Williamson interviewed all 30 of the students from Buffalo Creek Middle School who were aboard the bus in an effort to get to the bottom of the mysterious smell.

He eventually came to a student smelling like a cast member from a "Jersey Shore" middle school spin-off.

"Once I got down the line, I was able to determine it,'' Williamson told TODAY. "Before I could even tell (one student) what I was looking for, I made a motion like I was spraying, and he handed me an empty bottle of the black Axe Body Spray. I could smell it all over him."

Fire officials found no other remnants of any other type of chemical or liquid that may have caused the smell. Williamson said about a third of the students were complaining of respiratory distress, but nobody required a hospital transport.

Students were treated at the scene for respiratory distress after inhaling what fire department officials say was Axe Body Spray. Parrish Fire District

The buses have air-conditioning and the windows were closed during the ride due to the warm weather, which exacerbated the smell, School District of Manatee County spokesperson Mike Barber told TODAY.

The bus driver radioed dispatch, who called 911 while the bus was stopped and evacuated. Williamson said no student would cop to what happened and whether it was hygiene gone wrong or simply a prank.

"We had heard reports from other community members that it's somehow a thing with kids spraying it all over each other to smell nice or prank each other,'' he said. "They must have watched a lot of episodes of 'Band of Brothers' because they would not say who did it."

The school can not confirm or deny that Axe Body Spray specifically was the culprit in causing the smell, although one student did have a bottle of empty Axe Body Spray in his backpack, according to Barber.

Principal Bradley Scarborough reviewed video from the bus ride but has not determined how the smell got out, Barber said. School officials also haven't been able to determine if it was a prank.

The bus was ventilated and firefighters boarded the bus with full equipment and instruments to determine there were no hazardous chemicals or solids aboard.

"On a serious note, this was a very good total collaboration of an emergency response between the fire department, EMS, the sheriff's office and the school board,'' Williamson said. "It was a good test. We take everything as a serious threat because we can't afford not to."

Williamson has been a firefighter for 33 years, but said that a student clearing out a school bus with Axe Body Spray like he was Brian Fantana wearing Sex Panther cologne in "Anchorman" was a new one.

"I never say I've seen it all because the minute I say that, something else has to top it,'' he said.