South evacuated due to gas leak nearby on Sept. 9

South evacuated due to gas leak nearby on Sept. 9

by Austyn Esser

South students and staff were evacuated at 9:15 a.m. due to a gas leak from the Tyler Road construction on Sept. 9.

Students had barely been in their second block for a few minutes before the overwhelming stench of gas filled the air; this was when the fire alarm was pulled and all persons in the building were told to evacuate. The outside air was also polluted with gas, which forced students and staff to migrate to the football bleachers, further downwind.

“I was sitting in Spanish then smelled a weird smell and I knew it was gas, and then the fire alarm went off,” Zach Meyen, 9, said.  “So I knew something was wrong and it wasn’t a drill when we had to walk to the football field.”

The cleansing of the air took longer than originally expected, and everyone was evacuated to the gym at Maize South Middle. Classes were officially canceled at 11:15 a.m.

Students were allowed to be picked up only by a parent or await the afternoon buses. Pizzas were ordered to provide lunch to those who had to wait.

“At first, I thought it was a fire drill,” Brennan O’Callaghan, 9, said. “Then we sat out in the sun for an hour and then I sat in the gym for two hours, but I left just as the pizza got there so I thought this bites.”

 Opinions on the cancelation varied between students.

“I was thinking “Yay” we will probably get out of school for the weekend,” Michelle Methe, 9, said.

Whitney Lind, 10, was less enthusiastic about the situation.

“I was thinking oh my god I was just in choir inhaling that gas, am I going to be okay?” Lind said.

 At approximately 1:45p.m. the building was labeled safe to reenter and messages were sent out to parents and staff to notify them they were able to retrieve any personal items from classrooms and lockers.

Sept. 9 students and staff walk away from the building after building was evacuated due to the Tyler Road gas leak. Grouped together they awaited news on what would happen next. Photo by S. Walston