Natural gas-like odor delays start of Bossier Parish school - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Natural gas-like odor delays start of Bossier Parish school

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The smell of natural gas caused classes at Elm Grove Elementary School to be delayed Monday. The smell of natural gas caused classes at Elm Grove Elementary School to be delayed Monday.
ELM GROVE, LA (KSLA) -

The odor of natural gas filled Elm Grove Elementary Monday morning, delaying school by nearly an hour while crews searched for a problem. 

According to Center Point Energy, the smell is harmless, but parents said it's still a scary situation.

Melissa Chance was dropping off her son at the school when she encountered a strong gas-like smell at the school for the third time this month. 

"It's concerning because you don't really want to leave your kid when the school smells like gas," she said.

Bossier School Spokesman Sonja Bailes said school officials kept most of their 500 students in the gym, where there was no odor, while emergency crews searched for a gas leak. 

"It was crazy. There were a lot of parents asking what's going on and kids running around in the gym," said Leslie Piazza, who stayed with her little sister, a kindergartner, until they were given the all clear.  

"She was crying, wanting to go home, she didn't like the smell," Piazza said.

There were no leaks found on Center Point was responsible for, said Alicia Dixon, Center Point's spokesman. 

Crews did discover a very minor gas leak that was the Bossier Parish's responsibility. Parish maintenance workers fixed the issue by the afternoon. According to them, that leak was too small to be dangerous and had nothing to do with the odor.  

"Utilities like Center Point Energy add an odorant to natural gas so customers can detect the presence of natural gas," Dixon said. "On rare occasions, too much odorant is injected causing the strong-smelling odorant to permeate the area. This is what caused the odor in the area."

According to school leaders and a spokesman with the South Bossier Fire Department, this is the third time in one month the smell was so strong it disrupted school at Elm Grove.

Firefighters said they have also received calls from homeowners in the Elm Grove area, concerned about the smell.

"There is no danger to the public and we are investigating to determine why too much odorant was injected," Dixon said, adding that school leaders reacted exactly as they should have in that situation.

For more information about natural gas safety visit CenterPoint Energy.com/safety.

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