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Fire Marshal: Burst Pipe at School May have been Caused by Draft

Two service vans are parked near the cafeteria of Abington Senior High School. Credit: Mischa Arnosky
Two service vans are parked near the cafeteria of Abington Senior High School. Credit: Mischa Arnosky

A pipe that burst Wednesday at Abington High School may have been caused by a draft in the ceiling, according to Abington Fire Marshal Ken Clark.

The incident happened shortly after 8 a.m. and prompted an evacuation of the school’s students to nearby Abington Junior High School.

“A line in the sprinkler system froze and burst above the ceiling of the cafeteria — there was a lot of water, but not a significant amount of damage,” Clark said. “The school was evacuated, which is protocol, and the young adults were there for about an hour.”

Clark said it’s likely that a draft in the ceiling caused the pipe to burst, and added that cleanup was relatively simple because the cafeteria’s floor is tiled.

Students returned and classes resumed shortly after 9 a.m., according to a letter posted on the school district’s website.

From the letter on the school district’s website written by principal Angelo Berrios: 

“The students and staff at the senior high school responded admirably to this situation and everyone’s cooperation was greatly appreciated. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge and commend the efforts of our central administration, Abington Junior High School, facilities, transportation, and cafeteria staffs. As Principal, I had the opportunity to witness immeasurable teamwork and espirit de corps, thus resulting in an expeditious cleanup operation and the reopening of school.” 

A representative from the school did not immediate return calls for comment.

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