Glenbard West closed after natural gas leak
Glenbard West High School was closed and all after-school activities were canceled Friday after a utility contractor inadvertently ruptured a natural gas pipe in front of the Glen Ellyn school.
Principal Peter Monaghan said the gas leak occurred around 10:30 a.m. while the contractor was working along Crescent Boulevard. He said the smell of natural gas was "pretty strong" outside the south side of the school. Students and staff were immediately evacuated to an athletic field on the north side of the building.
"We were assured that students were safe, and they were on Duchon Field," Monaghan said.
Still, he said, officials, "in an abundance of caution," decided by 11:30 a.m. to close the school for the day and send its roughly 2,400 students home.
"We canceled all after-school activities," Monaghan said. "We have an away volleyball game that we'll still run. But students are not going to be allowed to come into the building."
Parents were immediately notified about the closure. In the notice, officials said the school was working closely with the Glen Ellyn police and fire departments. School officials also were in close communication with Nicor to remedy the situation.
Monaghan said it took about 45 minutes to get all the students off campus.
"We had to get our buses here, so that took a little while," he said. Students that walk to school were able to walk home.
No traffic, students or staff were allowed on Crescent, officials said.
"Our students were not in danger," Monaghan said.
Activities at the school, including a football game, are expected to resume Saturday morning.