Middle School evacuated because of gas leak | ParkRecord.com

Middle School evacuated because of gas leak

Dale Thompson, Of the Record staff

Questar Gas sheared a valve head off a 4-inch pipe while working at the corner of Kearns Blvd. and Comstock, reported Treasure Mountain International Middle School Principal Bob O’Connor. He added students evacuated the building shortly before school let out at 2:25 p.m.

Employees from the company approached the school on Friday afternoon and asked that students be kept away from the intersection as they left for the day, O’Connor said.

"We noticed the gas odor over here, particularly in the west corner," he said.

After checking around the school they could not locate the source, later Questar employees came to the school and explained the situation.

Principal O’Connor phoned the Park City Police and Fire Departments to ask for assistance in directing students and assessing the danger. He also shut down the HVAC system to prevent the odor of gas from circulating around the school.

"We didn’t rally want to do a shelter in place and so a decision was made to evacuate the school to the north parking lot," O’Connor said.

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The buses picked students up in that area and those who walked stayed clear of the affected intersection.

O’Connor added that students were allowed back in the building at 3 p.m. to collect items such as text books and cell phones.

"A lot of kids were concerned about studying, some of them had tests," he said.

Teachers are taking this into consideration during tests early this week.

The school was also open on Saturday to allow students to retrieve things that were left during the evacuation.

"I don’t believe there was any serious harm done here at the school," O’Connor said.

He also mentioned how pleased he was with how well his students did under the circumstances.

"The fire chief was extremely complimentary about how well our students handled the evacuation," he said.

The Park City Learning Center, at the corner of Kearns Blvd. and Comstock was unaffected by the gas leak, said secretary Brenda Sarpolus.