Gas leak forces evacuation of Uintah County elementary school

Published: Tuesday, May 13 2014 8:49 p.m. MDT

A natural gas leak forced the evacuation Tuesday of Davis Elementary School in Naples.

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NAPLES, Uintah County — A natural gas leak forced the evacuation Tuesday of Davis Elementary School.

Questar Gas crews were conducting a routine safety check at the school, 4101 S. 2500 East, just before noon when their sensors detected gas on the building's east side.

"We never had any gas in the building, but anytime we have gas even close to a building, we're going to make sure and evacuate," Questar operations manager DeeRay Wardle said.

Crews immediately notified school officials, who moved students and faculty to a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meetinghouse across the street from Davis Elementary.

"Our routine plan is that if we need to evacuate the school to another site, it's across the street to the stake center," Uintah School District Superintendent Mark Dockins said.

"We had two grades that were off-site on a field trip so that helped out as far as moving all the kids over there," Dockins said.

Students were fed sack lunches and stayed at the church for the remainder of the school day while Questar workers found and fixed the leak.

"We're constantly doing leak surveys on our gas lines to ensure that they're safe," Wardle said. "It was actually (the school's) fuel line beyond our meter that was leaking, but during our survey we were fortunate to find it."

In light of what happened Tuesday, the school plans to reroute its natural gas lines to prevent future problems, Wardle said.

Classes were expected to resume as normal Wednesday.

"If anything changes, we'll be sure to get that information to the parents," Dockins said.

Email: gliesik@deseretnews.com, Twitter: GeoffLiesik

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