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Gas leak leads to temporary evac in Dubois

Aug 30, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

A propane leak prompted a precautionary evacuation of Dubois Elementary School.

No children were exposed to the gas, but officials said they were worried that the fumes could have entered the school building and created a hazardous environment.

Undersheriff Ryan Lee said a piece of heavy machinery working on a remodel project at the school had struck an underground propane tank valve at about noon Monday, causing the gas leak.

"It started spewing propane," Lee said.

Deputies were called to the scene, and Lee said they helped school employees move the students to the nearby Boys and Girls Club.

"It's about a three-block walk," Dubois superintendent Gerry Nolan said Wednesday. "And we just did school from there. ... The teachers did a great job."

Students ate lunch at the Boys and Girls Club, he said, and at the end of the day school buses picked them up from that building.

"They played games, got fed --it was probably a pretty good day for them," Nolan said.

He pointed out that seventh- and eighth-graders spent their afternoon at Dubois High School as usual.

Nolan said the gas leak was stopped by 2 p.m., and winds that blew through Dubois on Monday helped disperse the propane.

"We closed all the intakes into the school so none of it got in there," he said. "The next day, all was well."

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