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Gas leak forces evacuation at Seaway Tech in Norwood

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NORWOOD — High winds Monday morning damaged equipment and caused a gas leak that forced the evacuation of the St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services Seaway Tech building on Route 56.

Winds up to 60 mph blew over a heater on the building’s roof, rupturing a gas line at about 9:45 a.m., Norwood Volunteer Fire Department official Bill C. White said. Power and gas were shut off shortly after the building was evacuated.

BOCES Principal Ronald P. Burke said he called 911 and began evacuations after the gas leak set off the building’s alarm.

“We practice for this throughout the year,” Mr. Burke said. “We have an evacuation plan and we moved the students 1,000 feet away from the school. We did two attendance checks and everyone was accounted for. It worked beautifully.”

Roughly 220 students were at the school and it took about 90 seconds to move them and faculty members to another building on campus. Classes resumed after the ruptured gas line was capped.

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