No one was hurt near Memorial Stadium on the grounds of the East Bernard Independent School District or in the nearby neighborhood on Thursday, Jan. 21 after a gas pipe was punctured.
The East Bernard Volunteer Fire Department reported an accidental puncture behind the stadium occurred before noon. EVFD reported the gas was turned off and there was no threat to students or surrounding structures.
According to East Bernard ISD, after the incident occurred, the leak was repaired. EBISD said a shelter had been in place for all students.
J.A. Szymanski, constable with Wharton County Precinct 2, also responded to the scene, He said it took 20 minutes for the gas leak to be under control. Syzmanski said College and Leveridge streets were blocked around the school while emergency personnel tended to the leak. He said it also prevented motorists from slowing down traffic.
“We got a call about a gas leak; when I showed up it was more than a gas leak – it was more like a vapor geyser,” Szymanski said. “It was spewing and going into the air but not into any buildings.”
He said EBISD Superintendent Courtney Hudgins and Assistant Superintendent Doug Grigar, and other staff members responded very quickly, sheltering students, who were not injured during the incident. Tending to EBISD students went “real smooth,” Szymanski said.
The Wharton County Sheriff’s Office also assisted in the incident.
EBISD sent out information via its website and its Facebook page that everything was safe by 12:17 p.m.
He said the situation was under control, and there were no threats to students or the surrounding area, which is located in a neighborhood.
The school district was asked more questions about the gas leak, including how parents were notified besides its Facebook page and website.
By press time, EBISD had not answered if an EBISD employee or contractor punctured the gas pipe, and if 811 was notified prior to the incident. EBISD was also asked what is the process that a contractor/EBISD employee is required to do regarding ground work on its property.