Gas leak caused dismissal of students at Smith Vocational

Gas leak caused brief evacuation of nearby homes

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Students at the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School were sent home early Monday, due to a gas leak near the building.

Andrea Luppi, spokesperson for Columbia Gas, told 22News that before 9:00 A.M., a contractor hit a 2” plastic gas line near Dana and Locust Streets.

She said that the fire department briefly evacuated homes nearby, but Columbia Gas workers were able to get the gas turned off quickly, and they were allowed to return shortly thereafter.

The site of the gas leak was right across the street from Smith Vocational, and the school’s principal led the evacuation of students to Northampton High School, a couple blocks away.

Superintendent Kevin Farr told 22News that normally, students would have been evacuated to the DPW building across the street, but the gas leak made that an impossibility. Due to the initial concern that the leak could have taken a while to repair, Farr said the decision was made to begin sending the 350 students home.

Farr says that everything has been made safe, and that the all-clear was given for their building.