A Westbrook elementary school was evacuated Friday morning after a suspected gas leak, police said.

Saccarappa School was closed for the day. Students were bused to the Westbrook Middle School, where parents picked up their children at the Performing Arts Center at the middle school. Parents will need a photo ID to pick up their children.

Some students were in the school before the potential leak was detected, but were safely evacuated and no one was injured, police said.

Westbrook Fire Chief Andy Turcotte said the leak was discovered near an outdoor gas meter attached to the building, and was likely caused by snow that was pushed up against the meter and the gas piping leading to it.

Unitil fixed the leak by about 9 a.m., but by then, school department officials already decided to cancel the school day and send children home early, Turcotte said. Firefighters and Unitil workers checked the building for any lingering gas and found none, he said.

Turcotte said the evacuation is a good time to remind residents to be careful during the winter season about the build-up of ice or snow near gas meters or vents, which can cause leaks or carbon monoxide build-up.


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