Local school evacuates briefly

October 26, 2011 Heather Chin
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A strong gaseous smell prompted the evacuation of students andstaff from Lutheran Elementary School at around 10 a.m. onWednesday, October 26, and the response of six fire trucks to theschool to make sure everything was okay.

According to the FDNY, it turned out that the foul odor wasemanating from a barge parked along the waterfront near 38th Streetthat was receiving fuel from a ship. Once the wind turned, thesmell wafted away.

But for around an hour, the smell permeated the school buildingand with no idea where it was coming from or what problem it mightportend, school officials called 9-1-1 and evacuated the building,bringing the children to Bethlehem Lutheran Church next door, saidPrincipal Lorraine Tuccillo.

Out of caution, we just evacuated, came to the church andeverybody was fine and safe, said nursery teacher Shirley Olsen.It was our building or nearby and we just thought to take theprecaution and follow procedure. [Then] we got clearance from theFire Department and everything is okay.

Students were back in their classrooms by 10:20 a.m..

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