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Gas Leak Causes School To Close Another Day

It's the second day in a row school has been canceled for some East Texas students.   And it's all because of a mysterious gas leak that broke out last Thursday near the high school in Carthage, the county seat of Panola County.   The school was evacuated Thursday afternoon and closed Friday and Monday. Now, the Carthage ISD Superintendent has decided to cancel school Tuesday as well.  

The gas leak was discovered when a teacher saw a 40-foot high gusher of water spewing out of the school's water well. That's when technicians realized gas was also leaking out. Around 800 high schoolers were evacuated and transported to Panola College as a safety precaution. And a relief well was built next to the school's water well in order to control the gas leak.

Bryan Rickert, fire marshal of the Carthage Fire Department, says, "You got one in a billion shot that something could go wrong, well, we're just not willing to take that chance and the school doesn't want to take that chance either."

Reba Allison, Superintendent of Carthage ISD says, "no one knows where this gas is coming from, and it's something that we certainly hope that question gets answered before we do bring our students back even if the gas that's here if they got it migrating away from the school, we still would like to know where it's coming from."

Monday workers were trying to migrate the gas to another gasline away from the school, but were unsuccessful. That's why the Superintendent decided to cancel school another day. 

And because the situation has been declared an emergency, the state does not require the students to make the days up and the school loses none of its funding from the state for the missed days either.

Tracy Watler/Reporting:

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