Olathe Northwest forced to evacuate students after slow leak from improperly shut off gas valves

Olathe Northwest students (Image courtesy of Nolan Moore)

OLATHE, Kan. — Students at Olathe Northwest were evacuated from the school Thursday morning after someone noticed a strong gas odor.

The school quickly sent an email to parents letting them know that individual gas valves in science classrooms hadn’t been properly shut and a slow leak of gas was released into the room when the main valve was turned on Thursday morning.

“The problem was immediately corrected and the district’s service center and the gas company were called and came on-site to make sure the problem was corrected,” Olathe Northwest Principal Chris Zuck said.

By 10 a.m., Fox 4 learned that the building was given the ‘all clear.’

“Our students and staff handled this situation very well,” Zuck said. “Our staff was very helpful in directing and supervising our students.  Our students followed directions and waited patiently in the gym for further instructions.  We appreciate their patience and understanding, as well as yours.”

The school sent the following note home to parents:

Dear Olathe Northwest parents,

I wanted to make you aware of a situation occurring at school today.  This morning, we were made aware of the strong smell of gas near the science classrooms. After investigating, it was determined that some of the individual gas valves hadn’t been properly shut and a slow leak of gas was released into the room when the main valve for the classroom was turned on in the morning. The problem was immediately corrected and the district’s service center and the gas company were called and came on-site to make sure the problem was corrected. We have evacuated the building until the rooms and building could be ventilated. We have buses coming so students can sit and stay warm while we ventilate the building. 

We are hopeful to return to normal activity today. 

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Chris Zuck, Principal