Thomas County elementary school cleared to resume classes after - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Thomas County elementary school cleared to resume classes after diesel spill

A diesel spill near Hall Road and Highway 319 prompted an evacuation at a Thomas County elementary school Thursday morning. (Source: WALB) A diesel spill near Hall Road and Highway 319 prompted an evacuation at a Thomas County elementary school Thursday morning. (Source: WALB)
Fire officials say it appears that diesel was dumped in a ditch on Hall Road. (Source: WALB) Fire officials say it appears that diesel was dumped in a ditch on Hall Road. (Source: WALB)
THOMAS CO., GA (WALB) -

A diesel spill near Hall Road and Highway 319 prompted an evacuation at a Thomas County elementary school Thursday morning.

School officials said that the students at Garrison-Pilcher Elementary were moved to the Thomas County Central High School gym to be released to their parents.

The call came in just after 9 a.m., and the evacuation took about 20-25 minutes.

"When I got on Facebook, I looked and I saw Thomas County Schools. I called my sister and came right out here. I was concerned about what was going on," said Ranita Whiche, the mother of Garrison-Pilcher Elementary student.

This week is also the week students take the Georgia Milestones Assessment test. It isn't clear when the students will make that up.

The spill was not on campus, but there is diesel in the ditches near the school. Students were evacuated as a safety precaution.

Fire officials said it appears that the diesel was dumped in a ditch on Hall Road.

From there it spread under the road and drained into a nearby creek.

Public Works crews will be on the scene through the day to keep the diesel from spreading.

Officials said they aren't sure yet how it got into the ditch, but it has already begun soaking into the ground.

Environmental experts were called in to get the area cleaned and replace the soil. Rocks are now on the ditch where the diesel was.

The  Hall Road and Highway 319 intersection was closed while crews worked to clean up the spill. The intersection was reopened around 4 Thursday afternoon. 

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