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Hundreds evacuated following Ontario gas leak

Posted: 11:18 AM, Jan 31, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-31 14:06:48-05

ONTARIO, ORE. — Five-hundred students at Ontario High School and residents of several neighborhoods in Ontario, Oregon were evacuated Tuesday morning following a gas leak in the area.

“The gas leak was about four blocks north of the high school,” said Ontario School District spokeswoman Taryn Smith. “But we evacuated the students to err on the side of caution.”

The students were escorted by Ontario Police officers to the Four Rivers Cultural Center auditorium on the campus of the Treasure Valley Community College.

Several residents of nearby neighborhoods were also evacuated.
“We evacuated homes along Northwest 2nd Avenue, Northwest 10th Street and in the Chukar Ridge area,” said an Ontario Police dispatcher.

Crews from the Cascade Natural Gas Company are on the scene. They are being assisted by crews from the Ontario Fire and Police Departments.

The evacuation order was lifted about 10:40 a.m. and residents were allowed to return to their homes.

“Students at Aiken Elementary, which is further away from the gas leak site, are being told to stay in their classrooms,” Smith said, “until we can determine there is no longer any hazard to the students.”

Reports indicate the leak has been sealed, and that gas fumes are in the process of dissipating.

No word yet on what caused the leak.

(Photo courtesy: A.J. Howard)