FILE PHOTO: Toormina High School has been evacuated this morning.
FILE PHOTO: Toormina High School has been evacuated this morning.

Gas leak prompts mass evacuation at Toormina schools

11.30am: Approximately 800 students and staff were evacuated from Toormina High and Primary Schools this morning due to a gas leak.  

The strong smell prompted Toormina High School principal to evacuate the school and authorities were notified at around 8.30am.  

Sawtell and Coffs Harbour NSW Fire Brigade units attended with trucks and a hazardous materials van.   It appears the 10,000 litre bulk gas cylinder that supplies the science blocks was leaking. 

Elgas are currently investigating the cause of the leak and by the time the fire brigade gave the all clear at around 9.30, approximately a quarter of the gas was remaining.  

Fire crews entered the grounds in breathing apparatus and conducted gas monitoring but did not detect dangerous levels.  

"We have to assume to worst case scenario.  Crews wore breathing apparatus but their gas monitors didn't detect any dangerous levels.  The breeze had picked up and blown most of it away but we needed to check culverts and drains where it could potentially settle," explained Coffs Harbour NSW Fire Brigade station officer Sally Foote.  

Earlier:   Toormina High School has been evacuated this morning due to a gas leak.

The Sawtell and Coffs Harbour NSW Fire Brigades were alerted to the incident at 8.25 this morning.

Students have been evacuated.

More details to come


Tourist told cops drug seedlings were ‘tomatoes’

Premium Content Tourist told cops drug seedlings were ‘tomatoes’

The chef-turned-horticulturalist decided to ‘give it a go’ growing drugs. He was...

MEGA GALLERY: Every moment of 2020 formal glamour

Premium Content MEGA GALLERY: Every moment of 2020 formal glamour

See the heartwarming photos from 12 school formals from across Mackay and the...

New app shows the 16 signs of suicide this Christmas

Premium Content New app shows the 16 signs of suicide this Christmas

Experts warn this season’s festive cheer could be hiding your loved one’s darkest...