pge_gasleak.jpgA high school in San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood was evacuated this afternoon when a school employee reported a natural gas smell that turned out to be nothing, the second false alarm at a Bay Area school today.

Galileo Academy of Science and Technology was evacuated after authorities received a report at 1:24 p.m. of a staff member who smelled natural gas, San Francisco fire Lt. Mindy Talmadge said.

The school, located at 1150 Francisco St., evacuated its students and staff as a precaution while fire and PG&E crews responded to the campus, Talmadge said.

A “very, very thorough check” of the school determined there was no leak or other danger to the school, and fire officials said it was safe to return to the campus at 1:57 p.m., according to Talmadge.

The evacuation was the second of the day in the Bay Area. Shortly before 9 a.m., a parent at Portola Elementary School in San Bruno reported the smell of gas on campus and the school was evacuated.

The school, located less than a mile from the deadly explosion that rocked San Bruno last week, was also determined to be safe, although classes were canceled for the day.

Talmadge said last week’s disaster, caused by a 30-inch natural gas pipeline that ruptured, killing at least four people, injuring more than 50 others and destroying 37 homes, has led to “a moderate increase in calls” reporting the smell of gas in the past week.

“It’s to be expected,” she said. “It was a very traumatic event and people are frightened by it.”

Talmadge said fire officials are encouraging people to continue calling in possible gas leaks.

“If you smell something, go ahead and call 911. Don’t write it off,” she said.

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