Gas Leak Causes LISD To Evacuate School - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/17/07

Gas Leak Causes LISD To Evacuate School

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Students at Ramirez Charter School in central Lubbock left class safe and healthy Monday afternoon.  Monday morning, Lubbock ISD had to move about 350 kindergarten through fifth graders after construction crews hit a gas line.

They took the kids to Cavazos Middle School, after shutting off the heat to Ramirez. Atmos Energy tells NewsChannel 11 the heating system pulled some of the natural gas inside the building.

"Got everybody out quickly, and the students were never in any danger in the building," LISD Spokesperson Nancy Sharp said. 

It was an unexpected break caused by a gas line about a block away.  Construction workers pierced the 2" gas line around 9:00 a.m. Monday.   They were working in the Overton area near the intersection of Glenna Goodacre Avenue and Avenue U.

"The wind was carrying it over here to Ramirez Elementary," Dan Alderson from Atmos Energy said. 

Folks inside say they started to smell the gas.

"The heating system actually brought in, or sucked in as you can imagine, the natural gas that was heading this way, so it does smell like natural gas inside," Alderson said. 

LISD took immediate action, shutting off the heat, and moving the children to Cavazos.

"Part of our crisis management plan is for central office administrators to come, so we have administrative staff here just to help in the transition, make sure everything goes smoothly, calmly, and kids are thinking it's great adventure," Sharp said. 

"Anytime we have a gas leak, like in any area like that, that's blowing, especially in a residential neighborhood, we always check to make sure where the gas has migrated to," Alderson said. 

"Natural gas is lighter than air, and it's very safe. It takes the right mixture for an explosion to occur, but still we want to make sure that everything remains safe, so let's evacuate the building," Alderson continued. 

Atmos had the break fixed, and the building cleared before noon. The children headed back to class after lunch.

"We'll find some teachable moments in this, talking about ways to respond when things happen, so it will be a teachable moment for sure," Sharp said. 

All the students were back at Ramirez before school let out, so parents picked up their children as usual.

Again the gas line is fixed, and we're told all the children and faculty did not have any ill affects from the gas.

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