• Stuart Benson

Gas leak forces evacuation of Chelsea Elementary and homes


Stuart Benson photo

Chelsea firefighters and paramedics cleared Chelsea Elementary and treated four staff and one student for nausea after staff reported the smell of gas and evacuated the school on Sept. 15.


By Stuart Benson


A gas leak at the Quartier Meredith housing development in Chelsea caused a temporary evacuation of Chelsea Elementary School on Sept. 15, after staff reported the smell of gas and reported it to the police.


According to Sgt. Martin Fournel, spokesperson for MRC des Collines Police, the leak was reported at around 9:45 a.m. Sept. 15 and staff and students were outside for less than an hour before it was determined that the leak was not originating from the school property, but had been caused by an excavator puncturing a natural gas line at a nearby construction site.


Four members of staff and one student received minor medical attention for symptoms of nausea.


Charles Èthier, director of the Chelsea Fire Department, confirmed that a backhoe shovel pierced a two-inch natural gas line near the corner of Chemins Cecil and Relais in the Quartier Meredith project while digging the foundation for one of the houses being built. Èthier said emergency and Gazifère – which manages the natural gas network in the area – personnel were still on scene around 1 p.m. and would remain there as work to seal the leak continued.


Four homes were also evacuated Èthier confirmed.


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