School evacuated after gas line ruptured

Gas line hit

KINGSPORT, Tenn. - Students at Johnson elementary were calm in an emergency situation Thursday. Emergency crews were called to the scene after work crews reportedly hit and ruptured a gas line within a few feet of the building.

"We arrived on scene, we isolated the incident," Senior Captain Darrell Hayes of the Kingsport Fire Department said. "We denied access to the area.  We made sure the kids were safe."

Kingsport police say construction crews hit a gas line around 1:30 p.m. The school was evacuated as a precaution.

School officials say they are glad they have an emergency plan and have practiced with the students. "I was so pleased with how smoothly everything seems to work," Dr. Lyle Alshie of the Kingsport School system said. "When I got here the students were where they were supposed to be. Thank goodness for our Police, Fire Department, Paramedics and everybody here.  I am grateful to our principals and teachers and how calm they stayed.  That's why you have a plan and do drills."

Once the students were out and everything was handled as far as shutting down the gas line, things were just starting. Firemen checked the building to make sure there was no gas inside. "If there is we are gonna have to ventilate the area and make sure the school is safe," Hayes said. "We have also shut down the HVAC systems so we have to get those back up and running also."

Students are expected to be back in class on Friday.

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