A primary school in Great Harwood had to be evacuated this morning (January 8) when engineers detected "serious" levels of carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas that can make you seriously ill if you breathe it in.

A smell of gas was discovered at Great Harwood Primary School, on Rushton Street, at 9.05am and an evacuation took place.

A gas engineer from Cadent, a gas distribution company, was called and the main building was closed “due to the serious level of carbon monoxide”.

The school’s gas supply has been closed meaning other buildings are without heating, hot water and school dinners.

In an update, the headteacher said the school will be back open on Tuesday (January 9).

A statement from the school, posted on the council website, said: “A smell of gas was discovered at 9.05am this morning. The main building followed a silent evacuation and I contacted the emergency gas line.

“The engineer has closed the main building due to the serious levels of carbon monoxide. The gas supply has been closed and the other buildings are without heating, hot water and school dinners.

“Engineers are coming to investigate the boilers and cause and a decision will be made for tomorrow as soon as it is safe to do so.”

John McKenna, headteacher of Great Harwood Primary School, said: "We take the health and safety of all pupils and staff extremely seriously, and for this reason, we took the unavoidable decision to close one of the school buildings when we became aware of a gas smell this morning (Monday, January 8, 2024)

"We closed the affected building and pupils were moved with immediate effect, with parents and carers subsequently being asked to collect pupils when we had to close all of the school buildings due to no hot water or heating during repairs. Gas engineers then identified high levels of carbon monoxide, owing to an issue with the boiler in the main building.

"However, following a full and thorough repair and based on the expert advice of the specialist gas engineers who attended, we are now able to confirm that the matter has been fully resolved and school and breakfast clubs will reopen tomorrow morning (Tuesday, January 9, 2024) at the normal times."

A spokesperson for Cadent said: "We were called to the school as the gas emergency service for the area.

"The school had taken the understandable, safety-first approach to evacuate before our arrival.

"We made sure everything was safe and have since left site. We had liaised with the school’s own maintenance teams, who are now looking into this.

"Incidents like this serve as an important reminder, to everyone really – that if you ever smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, act immediately and call the national gas emergency service on 0800 111 999, day or night. All calls are recorded and may be monitored."