Chemical spill evacuation just a 'big adventure' to kids

THE parents of children evacuated from Blayney’s St Joseph’s Catholic School after a chemical spill at a nearby waste management facility on Thursday say their children saw it as a “big adventure” and weren’t aware of any possible danger.

Children were evacuated to the CentrePoint Sport and Leisure facility at around 11am on Thursday after the school was informed of a 25-metre chemical spill at nearby Environmental Treatment Solutions (ETS).

The spill resulted in eight workers and a police officer being hospitalised after being overcome by fumes.

Paula Dell McCumstie, who has two children at the school, said her five-year-old daughter Charlotte was thrilled to have been taken on a bus to CentrePoint.

“She was extremely excited about the evacuation,” Mrs Dell McCumstie said.

Mrs Dell McCumstie said she was pleased with the way the school handled the incident

“The teachers were very calm and well organised,” she said.

“When they first heard they may have to evacuate they closed all the windows and doors and waited until they heard, by which time they’d already organised a bus to pick them up,” she said.

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Mrs Dell McCumstie said she can understand why parents weren’t notified firsthand about the incident with many reading about it online or hearing about it via word of mouth.

“I totally trust the school and when I get a phone call from the school I know it’s because something really bad has happened,” she said.

Word about the incident and the school’s evaluation spread quickly throughout Blayney prompting some parents to pick up their children before 3pm.

Anton Franze said his six-year-old son Kade was unconcerned about the evacuation and viewed it as “an adventure”.

Mr Franze said the teachers turned the evacuation into a fun experience.

“The school staff and school are to be commended on their efforts to respond in such a prompt and professional manner,” he said.

“The children’s safety and wellbeing was paramount at all times.

“While it might be thought the children may have been scared, my son and many of his friends thought it was a great adventure.”

tracey.prisk@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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