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Gas leak prompts evacuation at a Harford Co. elementary school

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Posted at 9:26 AM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 09:45:51-05

FALLSTON, Md. (WMAR) — A Harford County Elementary school was evacuated Thursday morning after the odor of gas was discovered.

Students at Youths Benefit Elementary in Fallston were evacuated onto buses, while fire crews investigated the source of the leak, said Harford County Fire and EMS spokeswoman, Jen Chenowith.

According to Harford County Public Schools, the odor was detected in a back hall of the building. Fire crews later determined there was a gasket issue on a boiler, which has since been shut off for repairs.

The school is now safe, and students have been let back in to resume their normal schedule for the day.

No students were injured or reported feeling sick.

Student parents and guardians were made aware of the incident with the following message.

"Good morning, this is Jillian Lader, Manager of Communications for Harford County Public Schools, with a message regarding Youth’s Benefit Elementary School. In an effort to keep you informed of situations that occur at the school, I’m calling to let you know that a gas smell was detected in a back hall in the building this morning. The Fire Department and the HCPS Facilities Department were immediately notified, and the building was safely evacuated. It was determined that there was an issue at a gasket on a boiler, which has been shut down to make the repair. The Fire Department has deemed it safe to re-enter the building, and the students are returning to their classrooms and our instructional day will resume as normal. We want to thank our students for their patience and excellent behavior during the evacuation. Thank you and have a wonderful day."