Gas leak forces Hurricane Middle School students to evacuate - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Gas leak forces Hurricane Middle School students to evacuate

Posted: Updated:

Some middle school kids got out of class early after a gas leak forced them to evacuate on Thursday.

Frontier Communications was doing some work in front of Hurricane Middle School when workers accidentally nicked a gas line.

"I was in the middle of my social studies class. I just heard a bell ringing and smelled weird fumes and I knew something was not right. I wanted to get out of there," student Luke Wickline said.

Rocky Parsons was in math class when the bell went off and had no idea what was going on.

"I didn't know if it was going to be real or fake. But then, everybody was on the football field," he said.

The kids said they stayed on the football field for almost 90 minutes.

It's those 90 minutes some parents said they're annoyed with.

Frontier Communications said it notified the school and 911 as soon as the gas leak happened, shortly after 10:30 a.m.

Parents said they weren't told anything was wrong until noon.

Natasha Crede said she first found out about the gas leak from Facebook.

"We actually heard about it on Facebook from one of the radio stations. They had posted something on Facebook and we immediately came out here to check out the situation," she said.

She thinks the school should have notified parents sooner.

It was pretty obvious something was going on because the immediate area in front of the school was shut down while Mountaineer Gas tried to stop the leak.

Parents did get an automatic voice mail to pick up their children up at 12:30 p.m., but even that message was vague.

"It just said that the buses were picking them behind the school and didn't really give any direction for the parents that were picking up their kids. I look for it to be a big mess trying to get our kids out who aren't going on the bus," she said.

Karen Nowviskie, spokesperson for Putnam County Schools, said the school did not notify parents sooner because it didn't want to create any unnecessary panic.

In fact, when the leak was first reported, officials thought students would be able to return back to class. However, it took longer to repair and that's why the school decided to send kids home, she said.

No one was injured during the gas leak and classes will resume first thing Friday morning.