Gas drama at high school

PART of a school had to be closed off and classrooms evacuated after a gas leak in an old wall pipe.

PART of a school had to be closed off and classrooms evacuated after a gas leak in an old wall pipe.

The incident happened at Orwell High in Felixstowe after a smell of gas was noticed coming from a cupboard in the science block.

Gas engineers were called in and the rooms had to be vacated while work took place to deal with the leak and ensure the area was safe.

Headteacher Peter Tomkins said it was a small leak in a pipe in a wall, where mortar had eroded the pipe.

“We had to re-room the students in the science block while the Transco engineers capped off the leak,” he said.

“It was a reasonable amount of work but there was no health and safety risk and school is working normally.

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“Because it was gas we had to be ultra cautious but really it was an annoyance and not terribly dramatic.”

The leak was discovered on Thursday lunchtime and the science block closed for the afternoon.

Engineers then returned yesterday to complete the work.

Mr Tomkins said the school's oil-fired heating had to be turned off overnight so the area was cool for the testing of the repairs.

There had been a concern over whether the gas would be on again in time to cook the school lunches but the engineers managed to isolate the leak area and the meals were provided without problems.

Mr Tomkins said the problem highlighted the need for the new Felixstowe high school currently being planned.

“The buildings have been here about 70 years and these sort of problems will arise more frequently the older they become but the new school will mean we can make a fresh start,” he said.

Were you affected by the gas leak? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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