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Fears of Gas Leak at Zeeland East High Lead to Thursday Closing; Cause Found


ZEELAND, MI (WHTC) - Classes were cancelled at both Zeeland East and Zeeland West high schools on Thursday morning due to a noticeable smell in the East building.

Students, teachers and staff were evacuated safely into the West building around 8 AM, and Fire Department officials gave an "all-clear" about an hour later. In an effort to allay any fears about student safety, new district Superintendent Cal DeKuiper dismissed school for all high school students, with the West cafeteria remaining open for those students awaiting transportation home.

A further investigation revealed that a lubricant had apparently spilled out of a door-opening mechanism and was spread by incoming students, so there was no danger posed, and the East building was given a thorough cleaning. District officials were hoping to resume a normal class schedule on Friday, but heavy snows overnight compelled them to give students a three-day weekend.