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Broken Water Pipe Cancels Classes

BUTLER TOWNSHIP — Students were forced to evacuate a high school in Schuylkill County Tuesday after a hot water pipe broke. There is no school Wednesday a...
north schuyl water

BUTLER TOWNSHIP -- Students were forced to evacuate a high school in Schuylkill County Tuesday after a hot water pipe broke.

There is no school Wednesday at the North Schuylkill Junior/Senior High School after that water pipe broke Tuesday.

Just after noon, steam was pouring from the ceiling and about 1,000 students rushed to get out.

Fire alarms went off and students were told to leave their belongs behind.

"There was steam in the hallway. The water was said to be at 190 degrees coming out, so it was commotion in that part of the building," said North Schuylkill Superintendent Dr. Robert Ackell.

"It was just filling the hallway. I didn't feel anything. I just saw it," said ninth grader Brandon Rockwell

"It literally sounded like a waterfall outside and we heard people screaming. So we looked out and saw it," said senior Jordon Green.

Rockwell was coming from lunch and Green was in a German language class when the hot water pipe burst and the school's fire alarm went off, forcing them and almost 1,000 other students to rush out of the building. Many left their belongings behind.

"I saw kids running down the hall and I looked up and I saw a whole bunch of--I thought it was a fire actually," Rockwell said.

"The fire alarm was pulled and we thought we were just going to go to the parking lot like a normal fire drill, but we ended up going to the elementary school and leaving right from there," said Green.

The hot water pipe that broke is part of the school's recently renovated heating system. The pipe that broke carried water that was 190 degrees.

The superintendent says it happened while students were in classrooms and the hallway was empty.

"We actually had a paramedic team come check any students out that was in the vicinity, and there were no reported injuries."

But there is quite a bit of damage. Water ran into some classrooms and in the hallway. Crews are cleaning up and fans are trying to dry out the classrooms.

Crews are cleaning up and repairs will begin on Wednesday when school is closed.

The superintendent says for students who rushed out of, there will be someone there Wednesday to help students gather their backpacks and belongings.