Crews from the Parksville Fire Department check Ballenas Secondary School to make sure it’s safe following a gas leak that happened when work crews hit a gas line Friday morning. — Michael Briones photo

Gas leak keeps Parksville high school students out of class

Workers reportedly hit gas line near Ballenas Secondary

Ballenas Secondary students spent a portion of their morning out of class due to a gas leak that happened when work crews hit a gas line at approximately 8 a.m. on Friday.

School District superintendent Keven Elder said it was fortunate the incident happened before school started. The school’s emergency protocol was applied.

“There were staff in the building and evacuation procedure was put into place,” said Elder. “As students arrived they were directed to the upper field at the back of the school. It’s a beautiful, sunny day and they’re not unhappy.”

The roads were initially blocked as the Parksville Fire Department, along with Fortis and crews from a contracting company, repaired the damage.

Rooms inside the building were checked and to air out any gas, fans were placed inside the building with doors and windows opened.

Elder said there were no concerns of fire breaking out nearby.

“It was mostly the health effects of the gas and the smell,” said Elder.

It took close to two hours before the building was deemed safe for students and staff to enter the building.

Elder said the challenging part for staff and student is the scent of gas that may be hanging around inside.

“They may clear the building for re-entry and there is no gas but there may be a lingering smell,” said Elder. “We want to make sure there’s as little smell as possible because it may be disconcerting to people.”

Elder commended principal Rudy Terpstra and staff for the way they executed the school’s evacuation procedures.

“It was activated without any real problems,” said Elder.

Terpstra said they do 10 practices each school year that include six fire evacuations, lockdown situations, earthquakes and other emergency procedures.

“Pretty much every month we do a drill,” said Terpstra. “So they came in handy today.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Just Posted

Parksville residents hear compelling tales from recovering young addicts

Speakers emphasize need for detox and treatment centre, shelter in the area

REVIEW: ‘Grace and Glorie’ a moving tale of death and friendship

Two women convey characters convincingly and with humour

Jordie Lunn, world-renowned mountain biker from Parksville, dies in accident

The 36-year-old was with friends trail riding in Cabo San Lucas when the accident happened

Island man restores 1962 Qualicum Beach fire truck he bought for $1

Vintage vehicle in working order and ready to hit the road

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

Most Read