18 children hospitalized after Cicero gas leak - FOX 32 News Chicago

18 children hospitalized, schools evacuated after Cicero gas leak

Posted: Updated:
CICERO, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Two west suburban elementary schools were evacuated and 18 students were hospitalized after a gas line was struck and fumes sickened the students Thursday afternoon.

A landscape company was doing underground work and ruptured a 2-inch gas main about 11 a.m., authorities said.

The leak happened between Cicero East School at 2324 S. 49th Ave., and Cicero West at 4937 W. 23rd St., according to town spokesman Ray Hanania.

Both schools were evacuated after some students said they smelled gas, Hanania said.

A total of 18 students and three adults were taken to hospitals as a precaution, he said. No serious injuries were reported.

"We didn't want to take any chances," he said.

The gas company shut off the gas in the area about 1:30 p.m. and the line is being repaired as "quickly and safely as possible," according to Nicor spokesperson Annette Martinez.

The Cicero Fire Department is investigating the leak.

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