School evacuated after gas leak

Manawatu school children have been checked by paramedics after a gas leak.

More than 400 children were evacuated from Manchester Street School and neighbouring Manchester Kindergarten, in Feilding, after a teacher smelled gas this morning.

Emergency services were called to school shortly after 9.25am after a teacher noticed a leak near the carpark.

Staff and pupils from the school were moved out of classrooms and gathered in a designated emergency area located at the front of school, on the footpath.

Children from the kindergarten were moved into a nearby church hall.

Firefighters dispersed the fumes using a hose reel and remained on stand-by while gas company Vector investigated and fixed the leak, fire service communications shift manager Jan Wills said.

It appeared a gas pipe at the back of one of the school's administration block buildings had been bumped, causing the leak.

Manchester Street School deputy principal Margo Mackie said it was a natural gas line which linked to an older boiler, which warmed heaters in two classrooms.

The school practiced evacuations and other safety procedures for such emergencies.

The children were checked over by St John staff, were all feeling well and returned to class after about 30 minutes, she said.

The nearby Manawatu District Council had been warned about the leak.

Manawatu Standard