gasfitterAT about 10.45am today, Friday, September 9, a gas leak was detected in the main school building at the Poowong Consolidated School in Ranceby Road and students were evacuated as a precaution.

They were all safely returned by 1pm.

According to the principal, Kate McKenzie, a minor gas smell was noticed in the main building and students were initially evacuated, as a precaution, to the school’s oval.

“We activated our emergency procedures and parents were kept informed throughout via Facebook. We couldn’t use our shed because it was too close to the main building so the students went initially to the school’s oval,” Ms McKenzie said.

“When it started to rain, we decided to move to the Poowong Recreation Reserve, where we have an ongoing arrangement in the event of an emergency, because it offers more shelter.

“Emergency services were alerted and the CFA, police and ambulance all attended. They were fantastic,” she said.

“The CFA particularly were great. They took control of the whole situation. I think we had brigades here from Loch, Poowong and even Leongatha. They were wonderful and we thank them for their support.

“The ambulance and police only attended as a precaution because it was a school that was involved. We’d thanks them for their support as well.”

Friday is takeaway shop lunch day at Poowong Consolidated with many of the kids opting to buy their lunch from the Poowong Café and Takaway. But, just so the rest of the kids, who had to leave their lunches behind in their bags didn’t miss out, the takeaway put on hot chips for the kids and teachers to tide them over until the return to school.

A gas fitter from Heenan Plumbing was soon on the scene, and he noted that a minor issue with a regulator on the school’s bottled gas supply was the problem.

“The gas has basically been venting out of here and it’s gone into the school building via these vents here,” he said, indicating air vents along the wall next to the gas fitting.

“We’ll just replace this and everything will be fine.”

And it was fine, with the students returning to the school and their classrooms just in time for the lunchtime bell to sound… happy days!