Galileo evacuated due to gas smell, no leak found

Students at Galileo Academy of Science and Technology were evacuated for a brief time Thursday afternoon after someone had reported smelling natural gas.

According to San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge, the fire department responded to the high school around 1:24 p.m. The students had already been evacuated from the building by staff.

By 1:52 p.m., the department had checked the school and determined there was no gas leak. Students have returned to class.

“There was no merit,” she said. “But if someone really believes they smell something, they should call 911.”

Talmadge said she has seen a “moderate” increase in the amount of calls since a 30-inch natural gas pipeline blew up in San Bruno on Sept. 9, killing 4 people and destroying 37 homes.

Talmadge said incidents like the one in San Bruno do not happen often and called the increase in calls to the Fire Department for possible natural gas leaks a “natural response.”

“It doesn’t hurt to call,” she said. “People are probably being overly cautious.”

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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