Gas leak leads to school evacuation, early dismissal in Eufaula


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Reported by: Eddie Randle
Updated: 2/17 5:20 pm Published: 2/17 11:07 am


EUFAULA, Okla. - A faulty valve caused a gas leak Monday morning at Eufaula High School, and students, faculty and staff were evacuated and sent home.

Officials with the school told FOX23 they were scheduled to be out of class Monday and the only reason they were in session was to make up for too many snow days.
Students were sent home when staff members said they smelled something out of the ordinary.

“They called me and told me about the odor and I called our maintenance and in turn they wanted me to call Oklahoma Natural Gas,” said Superintendent Janet Smith.
ONG employees found a gas leak coming from a faulty valve in a heat and air unit on top of the building.

“They suggested they we evacuate right away, so we evacuated the students to the football field,” said Smith.

School officials said there are about 350 students attending Eufaula High School along with about 40 staff members, and they were all able to get out within about 15 minutes.

Thanks to training drills, the staff was able to act fast.

“Fire department, police, sheriff, we’ve been working with them a year and a half to two years on evacuation drills, so we’ve had several of them. This one went really smooth,” said Smith.

And Smith gives credit to her faculty and staff.

“The high school was right on top of it, like they always are, and they led the students out very calmly, orderly -- no one was excited and it just makes you feel good that these practices really work,” she said.

The leak was stopped and school officials told FOX23 they got the OK to reopen the school.
Administration officials said school will be back in session Tuesday morning.

Smith said since the students were sent home, they will have to make up the day they missed.

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Mayor Maynot - 2/17/2014 4:27 PM
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