Jul 30, 2014
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UPDATED: Broken Pipe Evacuates School, Interrupts Class Wednesday Morning

A burst heating pipe evacuated Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School on Wednesday morning while water was mopped up from two classrooms and the hallway.

UPDATED: Broken Pipe Evacuates School, Interrupts Class Wednesday Morning UPDATED: Broken Pipe Evacuates School, Interrupts Class Wednesday Morning

Students at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School missed about 70 minutes of class time on Wednesday morning after a water line serving the heating system burst.

Nobody was injured. It happened about 9:15 a.m. in room 102.

Principal John Hughes said the water leaking from the pipe damaged the suspended ceiling below the broken pipe. The room where the leak occurred remained closed off on Wednesday afternoon, but everything else was back to normal before noon.

“(Students and staff) were outside for a few minutes,” Hughes said, before they were moved back inside to the auditorium and cafeteria. “They were never in any danger.”

On Twitter, several students provided updates on the situation, including one who said that water was running down the inside of the window in the classroom where the leak occurred. 

Hughes lauded the quick response from Hamilton Fire Department, which helped clean up the water. The school was evacuated after the fire alarm was activated at the time of the burst pipe.

The power was shut down and the pipe was shut off, then the water was cleaned up by HFD and school personnel. 

Fire Chief Philip Stevens said that power was shut down in the school and the pipe was shut off. Then firefighters and school personnel cleaned up the water, he said.

Four students complained about the smell from the water and were checked out and found to be OK, Stevens said.

The water flowed into a neighboring classroom and into the hallway. It had to be mopped up before students could return to their classrooms, Hughes said. There were computers in the classroom where the leak occurred but Hughes said the computers did not get wet. The computers will remain off until technology staff checks them.

It was not immediately clear what caused the pipe to burst.

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