The new Hunking School during an earlier phase of construction.
About 430 students and 57 teachers and faculty were evacuated from the new Hunking School around noon, Wednesday, after a contractor accidentally struck a gas line behind the complex.
Contractors were installing fence poles in the wetlands and ballfield areas, school Superintendent James F. Scully told WHAV News.
“We had a gas main break on Kensington Avenue, allegedly hit by one of the contractors. Because it is a high-pressure valve, as my understanding is, we evacuated the Hunking School children. We’re temporarily housing them at the Wood School and parents are being notified,” Scully said.
The superintendent said the evacuation followed protocol. “All schools have an off-site procedure. It went very well.”
Students were sent to the nearby Wood School where they remained mostly outside the building, Scully said, while waiting to go home. School buses and air-conditioned buses from Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority were sent to Wood School, which is used as a day care center.
Besides school officials, contractors working at the new school notified Haverhill Fire Department and National Grid.