Propane leak prompts evacuation of Raymond Elementary

A large propane tank at Raymond Elementary School leaked about 800 gallons of the gas Friday morning, prompting an evacuation of the school. The tank was repaired without incident after about an hour and classes resumed.

Pacific County Chief Criminal Deputy Pat Matlock said a deputy was passing the school’s two 1,000-gallon tanks at about 11:15 a.m. and “one of them was spewing propane all over the place.”

The propane company apparently broke the top of the tank while filling it, although the exact cause of the leak is being investigated, Matlock said.

There was no evacuation of residents, although Matlock said deputies told people who left their homes during the incident to go back inside.

“We didn’t want people strolling by with a cigarette in their hand or anything,” he said.

Matlock praised the efforts of the Raymond Fire Department in managing the incident and the school’s administrators, who evacuated the students to Raymond High School and had activities ready for the kids.