LISD Forced to Evacuate School After Gas Leak In Area - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/17/07

LISD Forced to Evacuate School After Gas Leak In Area

Lubbock ISD activated an emergency plan Monday morning when construction crews hit a gas line in Central Lubbock.

Three hundred and fifty students from Ramirez Charter School were evacuated.  School leaders immediately put the plan in place after they were notified about a gas leak in the area.

The kids were taken by buses to Cavazos Middle School, after shutting off the heat to Ramirez. But they were back in class at Ramirez before the day's end.

Safety was the topic for the day at Ramirez Charter School Monday. And it proved to be a hands-on lesson for 350 students after they were forced to evacuate the building due to a gas leak in the area.

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

School leaders took action when they began to smell 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," says Dan Alderson, with Atmos Energy.

Officials shut off the heat inside the building and the children were bused to Cavazos Middle School.

"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," says Alderson.

But students did get some reading, writing and arithmetic in before day's end.

Atmos had the break fixed before noon and the children were back in class after lunch.

LISD officials say school leaders get an A plus for preparing and planning ahead.

"We have an emergency plan and so that was put into place as soon as we got the call the gas line had been cut in the neighborhood," says Sharp.

Parents you have nothing to worry about Tuesday. The gas line is fixed and classes will begin on time. And we're told no one experienced any ill effects from the gas.

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