Six Southeast-area schools near oil drilling sites are among 181 in the Los Angeles Unified School District to be tested for possible methane gas seepage before the end of the school year.
Methane, a principal ingredient of natural gas and a byproduct of decomposing trash, explodes at high concentrations. The district ordered the tests at the schools as a precautionary measure after a check of geological records and information from municipal sanitation departments indicated the schools were on or near oil fields, oil drilling sites or landfills.
The testing comes in the wake of a methane explosion that rocked the Fairfax area of Los Angeles in March.
Holes will be drilled at several locations on each campus and an instrument inserted to measure levels of the underground gas. Explosions of methane are rare, and school officials have said that there is "no imminent danger" at any of the sites.
Schools to be tested in the Southeast area are South Gate Junior High and the following elementary schools: Elizabeth Street in Cudahy, Heliotrope Avenue and Loma Vista Avenue in Maywood, San Gabriel Avenue in South Gate and Woodlawn Avenue in Bell.