UPDATE: Sgt. Lee Lieber, of the Moorestown Police, said Burlington County emergency personnel are in the process of trying to track down the source of the odor that caused the middle school evacuation.
"They haven't determined the source, but they're saying it's not toxic," he said.
Lieber said the department has received multiple reports from people around town who have noticed the smell. The middle school was the only public building that was evacuated.
Burlington County Central Communications fire dispatch indicated the odor may have been drifting up from Camden County, but they're still unsure at this time, Lieber said.
School officials evacuated William Allen Middle School earlier after several people reported smelling a strange odor.
Superintendent Brian Betze said initially district personnel thought it was gas coming from the middle school. But after speaking with Moorestown Police and PSE&G, they determined it was an odor coming from outside the township—possibly from Philadelphia, Betze said—which was brought into the school by its HVAC fans. He said surrounding towns, including Cinnaminson, have been getting similar reports.
All the students are safe and have returned to the middle school, Betze said. PSE&G, with assistance from the police department, is inspecting the middle school to ensure it's safe for students. But as a precaution, outdoor recess has been canceled at all the other schools, and if it's warranted, PSE&G will inspect those schools as well, the superintendent added.
The district is asking parents and others to stay away from the school buildings to allow the police and PSE&G to handle the issue.
Stay with Moorestown Patch in case more information becomes available.