UPDATE: Tractor mower driver causes gas leak, evacuation at Veterans Memorial Middle School

mrice@ledger-enquirer.comSeptember 24, 2013 

A tractor mower driver cutting the grass Tuesday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Middle School made two mistakes.

First, he ruptured a natural gas line when his mower ran over a valve. Then, after he went into the building and alerted school officials, he pulled the fire alarm.

The good news is that the students and staff safely evacuated the school and went to adjacent North Columbus Elementary School. The bad news is that the driver shouldn’t have pulled the alarm.

“That wasn’t the right thing to do,” said Muscogee County School District superintendent David Lewis. “That isn’t our protocol, but the teachers and students performed magnificently in the situation.”

District officials will conduct a review and take action if deemed appropriated, Lewis said.

Lewis said he received an email at 4:19 p.m. that the gas line was repaired and the school should operate normally Wednesday.

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