PEMBROKE — Students at Purnell Swett High School were evacuated briefly this morning after a gas leak occurred during a construction project on school grounds, but classes quickly resumed and no one was injured.
Tasha Oxendine, the public relations officer for the Public Schools of Robeson County, said that a 1-inch gas line was cut at about 9 a.m. by a backhoe being used by contractors at the school. The contractors were building a handicap accessible sidewalk outside the 800 building of the school.
Oxendine said students in the 800 and 400 wings were moved to the library, gymnasium, cafeteria and other parts of the school for safety. Purnell Swett High School has 1,750 students.
Fire officials, maintenance and school administrators responded and contacted the gas company, which cut off the gas, according to Oxendine. The gas line was then repaired.
Students were able to return to class and resume regular schedules before 11 a.m.