All-clear given after officials investigate suspicious smell at John Overton High School

Students and staff were evacuated from the school Wednesday morning. (WSMV)

Classes at John Overton High School are back in session after a strange odor prompted a brief evacuation Wednesday morning.

Fire department officials said the smell was coming from the sewage line and was not dangerous. Everyone was cleared to come back inside.

A school administrator told News 4 that someone smelled something and thought it was possibly a gas leak, so they called the fire department to investigate.

One student had just pulled into the parking lot when she heard the news.

"I'm kinda shaky about it because I don't want to go inside and something happen to one of the kids or even myself," said senior Maleea Webb.

Students were kept in the gym and cafeteria until crews could clear the smell they say was coming from the side of the school near the auditorium. Commercial-sized fans were brought in to help speed up the process.

Classes at the high school are operating on a two-hour delay.

The issue also caused big delays for school buses in the area. The same buses that the high school students use also pick up elementary and middle school students. Several buses were held up for about an hour before they could resume their routes.

The following nine schools were affected by the delays: Norman Binkley Elementary School Crieve Hall Elementary School Haywood Elementary School Tusculum Elementary School Granbery Elementary School Shayne Elementary School Croft Middle School McMurray Middle School Oliver Middle School

We have gotten the all clear at Overton HS. Resuming on a two hour delay schedule. Thank u everyone for your continued support and patience.— Metro Schools (@MetroSchools) January 10, 2018
Our teams did a great job investigating a suspicious smell at Overton High School. The all clear has been given.— Nashville Fire Dept (@NashvilleFD) January 10, 2018
Assistant Principal says no students were ever inside; right now firefighters & hazmat crew are inside investigating source of the leak— Rebecca Cardenas (@RebeccaWSMV) January 10, 2018
Odor is from a line of sewage, not dangerous or reactive -- admistrators working on plan to get students back inside and away from the smell— Rebecca Cardenas (@RebeccaWSMV) January 10, 2018
Commercial fans airing the sewer gas out of the auditorium side of the building— Rebecca Cardenas (@RebeccaWSMV) January 10, 2018

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Multimedia Producer


Rebecca Cardenas is a Murrow-award winning journalist who joined News4 as a reporter in September 2017.

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