Wantagh school briefly evacuated after gas leak

Mandalay Elementary School, at 2667 Bayview Ave. in

Mandalay Elementary School, at 2667 Bayview Ave. in Wantagh, is part of the Wantagh Union Free School District. (July 10, 2012) (Credit: Amy Onorato )

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An elementary school in Wantagh was briefly evacuated Tuesday after a gas leak was detected in the area, officials said.

The evacuation took place at the Mandalay Elementary School on Bayview Avenue and lasted from about 8:30 to 9 a.m., National Grid spokeswoman Wendy Ladd said.

A custodian smelled the gas shortly after opening the building, before buses arrived to drop off students, Wantagh schools superintendent Maureen Goldberg said in a statement. National Grid and the fire department was called, she said.

"The small group of before-school students and staff who were in the building were briefly evacuated while authorities inspected the entire school," Goldberg said.

Ladd said emergency crews found that a regulator, which adjusts pressure from the main outdoor underground supply pipe to the lower-pressure pipe supplying gas to the school building, malfunctioned -- and needed to be replaced.

She said regulators will "malfunction with the weather" and that crews believe that is what happened in this case.

Ladd said that responding crews shut down the regulator and the gas leading to it.

The temporary measure made the school safe and allowed students to go back in, she said.

School officials had asked National Grid to leave while classes were in session and return to finish repairs when the school day was over, Ladd said.

She said a crew will replace the faulty regulator Tuesday night.

There were no injuries.

With Ellen Yan

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