Sulfur smell leads to middle school evacuation

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

By Samantha Jones

Eureka Springs Middle School was evacuated Thursday morning after a maintenance employee accidentally triggered a strong sulfur smell throughout the building.

Superintendent Bryan Pruitt said the employee poured a non-toxic chemical to unclog a drain in the art room and the chemical reacted to paint, resulting in the sulfur smell. Pruitt said the smell was not toxic but required evacuation nonetheless.

“You know how strong sulfur can smell,” Pruitt said. “We had to get them out of there.”

The students spentlunchtime at the track, Pruitt said, and the smell had mostly cleared out by 1 p.m. Pruitt said the Eureka Springs Police Department cleared every room in the building except the library and IT room. Because of that, Pruitt said, the students spent the rest of the day at the high school auditorium.

“We retrieved some of the things they needed to go home with,” Pruitt said. “Everything ought to be good to go on Friday.”

At the very least, Pruitt said, the experience was a good way to exercise an evacuation drill.

“It’s a good evacuation trial run for us,” Pruitt said. “I was impressed with how the kids got out of the school quickly.”

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