A gas leak at the Altamont Elementary School in Duchesne County prompted the evacuation of that school and nearby Altamont High School late Thursday morning.
Darren Shepherd, a spokesman for Questar Gas, said a gas employee doing a meter check at the school could smell gas and traced it to a water valve, which indicated an underground leak nearby.
Shepherd said there was no gas in the school, but the company decided that the elementary school should be evacuated as a precaution. County officials also ordered the evacuation of the high school, located about 500 feet away, as an extra precaution, Shepherd said.
Shepherd said Thursday afternoon that the process of isolating and containing the underground leak would likely last into the evening and that students were not expected to return to their classes. The frosty conditions in the air make it harder for the gas to naturally dissipate in the atmosphere, so the process could take longer than usual, he added.