SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

October 11, 2012

H-W High evacuated after pipe bursts

By Bethany Bray STAFF WRITER
The Salem News

---- — HAMILTON — Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School was evacuated briefly yesterday morning after a heating pipe broke and flooded part of the building with water.

Students were using a classroom when a heating pipe burst inside the room’s suspended ceiling, interim Principal John Hughes said.

“We didn’t know the extent of it, so we evacuated the building,” he said. “Water was flowing fairly well out into the hallway and into an adjacent classroom, under the door.”

No one was injured, Hughes said.

The Fire Department responded as roughly 700 high-schoolers were evacuated. Students were outside for about 10 minutes and then were ushered into the school cafeteria and auditorium. All together, they missed about an hour of class, Hughes said.

“It was not a situation where anyone was in danger,” he said. “Everyone seemed to handle it very well.”

A plumber responded, shutting the building’s water service off and capping the pipe that had burst. The flooded area was cleaned up yesterday as classes resumed; the room where the pipe broke remained closed for the day.

The affected classroom has “a number of computers” in it, Hughes said. “There is some water damage ... (but) nothing appears to be ruined. The water didn’t come directly down on the computers.”

The building’s heating system has not yet been switched on for the season, he said.