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Gas leak closes Pasadena elementary school

March 25, 2011 |  9:12 am

Pasadena’s Willard Elementary School was closed Friday morning and parents were encouraged to pick up their children after officials discovered a significant gas leak in the basement area.

When school officials began arriving Friday morning, they noticed a “heavy odor of gas coming from the basement,” said Lisa Derderian, Pasadena Fire Department emergency coordinator.

Authorities were notified around 7:45 a.m., by which time about a third of the 750 students were already at the school, Derderian said. Students were sheltered in the cafeteria and library until parents could be notified to pick them up.

By 9 a.m., fewer than 100 students were at the campus and officials were considering relocating them to a middle school across the street.

Derderian said a utility company crew was working on the leak at the campus at 301 S. Madre Street. No injuries were reported.

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-- Richard Winton

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