Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Odor Sickens Students At Two APS Schools.

Byline: Katie Burford and Jeff Jones Journal Staff Writers

PNM Using Gas To Clean New Pipeline

Two South Valley elementary schools were evacuated and more than a dozen youngsters got sick Thursday afternoon when Public Service Company of New Mexico "purged" a new pipeline in the area.

PNM used natural gas to clear dust and grit from the 18-mile pipeline running from Albuquerque south toward Belen.

PNM spokeswoman Julie McCabe said the purging posed no health threat, and none of the students required hospitalization.

But the foul-smelling "odorant" added to the natural gas to alert people about possible leaks in their homes or businesses apparently turned a few stomachs, she said.

Albuquerque Public Schools spokesman Rigo Chavez said APS was not notified by PNM before the purge, and he called that "unfortunate. …

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