• Strong smell forces evacuation of Haverhill middle school

    By: Mike Saccone

    Updated:

    HAVERHILL, Mass. - A middle school in Haverhill was evacuated Thursday morning after a staff member reported a strong smell that could have been natural gas, the mayor’s office confirmed to Boston 25 News. 

    Around 500 students at Dr. Paul Nettle Middle School were evacuated around 8:15 a.m. Utilities to the school were turned off as a precaution and an ambulance was available for students with special needs. 

    About an hour later, Haverhill Fire Department ruled out a natural gas leak, but waited for a National Grid crew to arrive and give official confirmation. 

    The odor is suspected to be sulfur from an issue with a city sewage system located outside of the school’s property. 
     
    Students returned to class around 9 a.m. 

    The school is located on Boardman Street and serves students in grades 5-8. 

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