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Pawhuska schools temporarily closed due to ‘gas purge’

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PAWHUSKA, Okla. – School officials announced Wednesday that Pawhuska Public School will be temporarily closed due to a “gas purge” investigation.

According to PoncaCityNow.com, early Tuesday morning, officials with Pawhuska Public Schools were alerted to a gas purge found on the grounds of the school.

Cole Perryman, spokesman for the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, said several geothermal wells on the campus are leaking methane.

“The Federal and State agencies with jurisdictional authority have determined that the first step to ensuring the public’s safety on-site will be to plug the impacted geothermal wells in the area, which are apparently leaking methane,” Perryman said.

Perryman told PoncaCityNow.com that his agency is working to find a licensed well driller to cap the wells.

Classes were scheduled to begin Thursday; however, school officials have decided that out of safety for staff and students, all schools, PreK though 12, will be closed Thursday and Friday, August 17th and 18th, while crews work to cap the wells.

Updates on the gas purge investigation and information on when classes will resume can be found on the school district’s Facebook page.