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Belthorn school closed due to gas leak
AN EAST Lancashire school may be forced to relocate to temporary premises as a result of a gas leak.
Belthorn Foundation Primary in Belthorn has been closed since Tuesday when staff discovered a strong smell of gas throughout the building.
National Grid, which is responsible for the gas supply maintenance, said the leak was found in pipelines under a field.
While repairs have been carried out, it said gas had filtered into the foundations of the Belthorn Road building.
A spokeswoman for the National Grid said the levels of gas were still very high.
And bosses at Lancashire County Council are currently working on a contingency plan which could see the school move to temporary accommodation if the levels have not dropped to normal by Monday.
Education chiefs are writing to all parents to inform them of the situation.
Jeanette Unsworth, a spokeswoman for National Grid, said the building was being tested continuously until the levels dropped.
She said: “Gas was escaping through a four-inch diameter, but it has been located and repaired.
“It has travelled under the foundations of the school and we are still getting high readings of gas in the building.
"The gas will clear in its own time but for the safety of the staff and pupils we will not allow them back in the school this week.”
Janet Cooper, head-teacher at Belthorn Foundation Primary School, said they hoped to have the all-clear to open on Monday.
She said: “Work is continuing to extract the gas.
“Contingency plans are being prepared to teach pupils at an alternative location if the school cannot be reopened on Monday.”
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