TDS subcontractor strikes gas line, elementary school evacuated

TDS subcontractor strikes gas line, elementary school evacuated
File photo

A TDS subcontractor struck a gas line while installing fiber near the street, prompting the evacuation of Conrad Elvehjem Primary School on Monday, according to a press release.

The release said Principal Greg Nelson was contacted by McFarland Police and Fire Department at approximately 9:20 a.m. According to the release, Nelson immediately initiated the school’s evacuation plan and brought students to a nearby area away from the school. The McFarland School District contacted CEPS families and sent a fleet of buses to pick up students and staff and transport them to Waubesa Intermediate School.

Before transporting the students and staff to the evacuation site in Waubesa, McFarland fire officials informed the District that the gas line had been shut off and it was safe to return to the school building.

According to a statement from DeAnne Boegli, National Communcations Manager at TDS, the contractor damaged the line while digging by hand to avoid tree roots. When the line was struck, the contractor followed emergency protocols by notifying the local gas company and emergency officials.

This incident comes months after TDS subcontractors struck gas lines while working on installing a fiber optic network in McFarland.

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