Mt. Juliet, Tenn. – Police and Fire units were summoned to the 1900 block of S. Rutland Road after an unknown worker struck a gas line with a backhoe at construction site for a church. It is not clear when the rupture occurred, but a Piedmont Natural Gas employee noticed the rupture and notified emergency crews around 10:20 a.m. this morning. Emergency crews arrived on the scene shortly after and discovered a 4″ natural gas line was ruptured.
Due to the close proximity to Rutland Elementary school, evacuations were necessary. Initially, Rutland Elementary’s B building was evacuated since it was the closest to the rupture. Those students were escorted to Rutland Elementary’s A building, and then the decision was made to evacuate the whole Rutland Elementary school campus temporarily while the natural gas and odor agent dissipated from the area. Buses were quickly brought in, and students were transported to West Wilson Middle school to have lunch. After the Fire Department of Mt. Juliet determined that there was no longer a hazard at Rutland Elementary school, the students were bused back to the elementary school for dismissal at 2:15 p.m.
As the situation was developing, representatives from Wilson County Schools immediately responded to the scene to ensure the safety of the students and faculty. School representatives, along with Mt. Juliet Police and Fire leadership, worked together to coordinate the best action to keep the students safe. There were no injuries or sickness reported during the incident.
A similar incident occurred on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at the same construction site, and officials with Mt. Juliet’s Building Codes are investigating. School was not in session during that incident.
Updates about the developing situation were provided to the public on Nixle, a text messaging alert service, and social media. Live video updates were provided through Periscope, and the recordings can be found here: Mt. Juliet PD’s Periscope .