Natural gas that cleared schools blamed on passing tanker truck

MURRYSVILLE (AP) — Peoples Natural Gas says an odor that prompted three western Pennsylvania schools to evacuate was likely caused by a passing tanker truck.

Emergency officials asked Franklin Regional Middle School and two of the district’s elementary schools to evacuate shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday. The schools are in Murrysville, about 15 miles east of Pittsburgh.

The district says students at Heritage and Newlonsburg elementary schools were first cleared to return though the middle school remained closed longer as its students were housed at nearby Franklin Regional High School.

The schools and several other businesses that reported the smell are located along U.S. Route 22, a heavily traveled highway in Pittsburgh’s eastern suburbs.

Four students were treated at a nearby hospital because of the fumes, but weren’t believed to be seriously ill.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.