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Gas leak forces school evacuation

An off-campus gas leak forced the evacuation of 700 students at Shore Acres Elementary on Thursday morning.

No one was injured, and the students returned to class about an hour after the leak was reported, said acting principal Timothy C. Owens.

Owens said a worker for the city of St. Petersburg struck a 2-inch gas pipe while installing a school crossing sign around 9:18 a.m. at Tanglewood and 62nd Avenue.

"Immediately, you could smell it," Owens said.

The children were evacuated and waited in a physical education field while the classrooms were inspected by a hazardous materials team. The leak was capped shortly after.

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