UPDATE: Classes suspended at Villa Road after five people injured in gas refilling explosion
Tamara Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Classes were halted at the Villa Road Primary School in Manchester this morning after five people were injured in an explosion during a routine cooking gas refilling at the cafeteria.
The three males and two females injured in the explosion were rushed to the Mandeville Hospital.
Two men who received the worst injuries worked with the gas company.
One received first degree burns and the other third degree burns.
The three other people received minor burns.
School officials said, approximately 9:30 a.m, the cooking gas suppliers were refilling gas tanks for the cafeteria when a leak was detected.
Soon after, there was an explosion injuring the five and damaging sections of the roof and floor of the cafeteria.
Parents were immediately called to pick up their children.
"I am just glad that it did not happen during the break or lunch period because I know the children could have been injured," said one parent.
Chairman of the school board, Trevor Heaven commended the school administration for its response to the accident.
"The safety of our children and our staff is our first priority and so when the principal learnt of the leak, he relocated the children as soon as possible," Heaven said.
According to him, the main aim now is to evaluate the situation to determine how to avoid a repeat.
Heaven further said the Ministry of Education will have to determine the appropriate date for reopening.
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