A construction worker ran over a propane tank valve at the Dubois school construction site on Monday, causing a propane leak and evacuation of students. (June Bonasera photo)
(Dubois, Wyo.) – A propane leak reported at 12:04 p.m. on Monday caused the evacuation of the Dubois Elementary School. According to Fremont County School District No. 2 Facilities Director, Chris Riker, a call came in to him after notification was first made to 911 by a construction worker who accidentally ran over an underground propane tank lid and valve located behind the school gymnasium. Riker pulled the fire alarm and with DARE officer Mike Miller and Elementary and Middle School principal Brandon Farris, put the school’s emergency evacuation plan into effect, that called to move the students off-site.
The students were moved to the Dubois Boys and Girls Club where they remained until the end of the school day. School superintendant Gerry Nolan met with parents who came to pick up their children at the end of the day and diverted them to the Dubois Boys and Girls Club. Nolan also picked up pizzas for the students, many of whom missed lunch due to the evacuation and delivered them to the Dubois Boys and Girls Club building.
Dubois Volunteer Fire Department and V-1 Propane representatives responded and the leak was shut off by 2 p.m. Riker, Fremont County School District No. 2 employee Kelly Cyrus, and Dubois Fire Department crews cleared the school of any propane and allowed teachers back to the facility at 3:30 p.m. Riker stated, “We are relieved that no damage took place, no injuries occurred, and that our evacuation plans worked smoothly”.
The school was back to business as usual on Tuesday morning.