Minivan Plows into San Rafael School Triggering Gas Leak, Power Outage

Laura Dell Elementary will be close Friday. Firefighters averted “catastrophe,” chief says.

Updated at 12:05 a.m.: San Rafael City Schools Superintendent Michael Watenpaugh announced Laurel Dell Elementary School will be closed as a result of the crash.

Bay City News Service

A minivan plowed into the side of a San Rafael elementary school this evening, causing a gas leak and potentially shutting down the school Friday, according to the San Rafael fire chief.

The van hit the side of Laurel Dell Elementary School at 225 Woodland Ave. right at the PG&E service connections for gas and electric at 5:47 p.m., fire Chief Chris Gray said.

The collision caused the gas line to rupture and knocked out electricity in the building. Two people in the van suffered minor injuries, Gray said.

But, given the leaking gas and damaged electric equipment, Gray said that firefighters managed to avert what could have been a much larger catastrophe.

A holiday concert was planned at the school tonight, and firefighters helped students move props to a nearby church so that the show could go on.

The school remained without power and gas tonight and it was unclear whether school would be canceled in the morning, Gray said.

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