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Texas school band practice broken up by plane spraying pesticide

By Amanda Orr

HOUSTON (Reuters) - A Texas high school marching band had to cancel practice this week after a plane dropped pesticide for mosquitoes on more than 300 members going through their paces, school officials said on Friday.

"It was a freak accident; they didn't know we were there and we didn’t know they were coming,” Pearland High School principal Larry Berger said.

Students from the Houston suburb were sent home after the Thursday morning incident and told to wash their clothes and themselves thoroughly, school officials said. They said some students complained of skin irritation and breathing problems.

Band practice resumed indoors on Friday because another flight with pesticide was planned to fly overhead.

The Brazoria County Mosquito Control District, which arranged for the flight, was not immediately available to comment on the incident or give details on the chemicals used.

In a statement, it said there was one confirmed human case of West Nile Virus in Pearland and the aerial spraying was added as a matter of public health concern.

(Writing by Jon Herskovitz)

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