New Castle News

New Castle

May 1, 2013

Gas line rupture: Police say ‘massive’ school evacuation went smoothly

NEW CASTLE — It was a scene reminiscent of the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

About 700 children left the George Washington Intermediate Elementary School and marched eight blocks to the Park Avenue tennis courts Tuesday morning after workers hit a gas line. The exodus, which included the teachers, was led by school resource officer Justin Crum of the New Castle police department.

“It was an orderly evacuation,” said Stanley Magusiak, acting superintendent of the New Castle School District.

“It was massive,” said David Joseph, New Castle’s assistant fire chief. “I was responding to the call and had to wait while wave after wave of children came down the street. I couldn’t make the turn to get to the school. But I’ll have to say, the children were very orderly.”

The city’s police and fire departments were notified at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday that an unmarked gas line had been hit as a trench was being dug and gas could be smelled inside the building.

Columbia Gas Co. and Verizon workers were also at the school, which houses children in grades four, five and six.

As the building and sewer lines were checked for possible dangerous gas buildup, Magusiak contemplated what the students would do for the remainder of the day.

Ultimately an alert was issued notifying parents that — until 12:30 p.m. — they could pick up their children at the tennis courts at Park Avenue and Mercer Street and take them home. At that point, the remaining children were taken by bus to the junior-senior high school where they were ushered to the auditorium to be excused at the end of the school day.

Magusiak noted many parents work during the day and picking up their children was not an option.

Over the weekend, Magusiak explained, work was being done on a cell phone tower at the school. The tower has been in place for five or six years.

The gas line involved feeds the generator for the cell tower, he added.

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
New Castle
  • Taggart.jpg Arsonists damage New Castle’s football field

    With the New Castle football team just days away from the start of practice, vandals have hit Taggart Stadium. Someone set fire to artificial turf at the stadium and damaged a blocking sled the team uses in practice.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg New Castle hires information technology director

    The New Castle school district has a new information technology director. At its meeting this week the board hired Emily Sanders of Cranberry Township to fill the position, left vacant by the retirement of Beth Barber.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NC_Hoops.jpg Former Lady 'Canes stars reunite for tour of Europe

    Ryenn Micaletti and Abby Allen are headed to Europe. Micaletti and Allen — both members of the 2007 WPIAL Class AAAA girls basketball championship team — have joined forces with News Release Basketball to spend nearly three weeks in Germany and Belgium later this summer playing basketball and helping run clinics.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • High school registration scheduled at New Castle

    Registration has been set for new students in grades seven through 12 moving into the New Castle school district.

    July 15, 2014

  • Police.jpg Couple accused of contacting rape victim

    A man accused of raping a woman at gunpoint allegedly tried to get her to drop the charges.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • festival1.jpg Break out the bubbly

    New Castle may be the Fireworks Capital of America, but Friday night bubbles filled the air.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • wampum1.jpg State title ties: Wampum, New Castle teams celebrate incredible success

    Their spectaular success stories are separated by more than a half century. But they sat side-by-side Thursday morning, sharing more than just breakfast at Jata’s Diner, a familiar meeting spot for former Wampum High School players. 

    July 5, 2014 4 Photos

  • Hooker.tiff Male Athlete of the Year: New Castle's Malik Hooker

    Once in a while, an athlete comes along who redefines the very word. Then, there’s Malik Hooker. The New Castle High graduate took athleticism to a level rarely seen before in the area on the basketball court and on the football turf.

    July 4, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • school.jpg New Castle board adopts budget despite uncertainty

    The New Castle school board adopted its 2014-15 budget Monday but may have to re-open it next week. The $5.4 million budget, introduced in May, has no tax increase and will not tap into the fund balance. Taxes remain at 17.72 mills.

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg District to sell closed schools, contents

    The New Castle school district will advertise for proposals to buy its three just-closed elementary schools.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

Would you want to know what your pet is thinking about you?

Yes! I'd love to know what my pet is thinking.
Nah, it's probably not that interesting.
I don't know. I'm afraid of what I might find out.
     View Results