Tuesday at approximately noon a large truck that is part of the gas industry pulled down a utility line on state Route 7 near the Wetzel County Center for Children and Families, former career center, causing the pole to break.
"Sparks were flying and an electrical and telephone wire fell to the ground," said Superintendent of Schools Diane Watt in a recorded telephone message to parents Tuesday. The children in Leslie Emch's and Ashley Goddard's classes at the center were on the playground at the time. The school personnel had the children sit in the middle of the playground until maintenance and bus garage employees determined there wasn't any danger to the school or the playground.
"The power was cut but the children were safe and they spent the remainder of the day playing in the big toy room," said Watt.
This photo shows the broken utility pole and the replacement one in the shadow of the sign for the Wetzel County Center for Children and Families. On Tuesday a large truck reportedly caught an overhead line, pulling down the pole and lines. Children were playing the WCCCF’s playground maybe 100 feet away. Teachers and aides kept the children in the playground until it could be determined it was safe to return to the school. (Photo by Amy Witschey)
She further said emergency personnel were there immediately and maintained a safe traffic flow on state Route 7 and facilitated a safe dismissal at the regular time.
The electricity in the area was restored at approximately 4 p.m.
The incident is under investigation by the West Virginia State Police, who were unavailable for comment.