NORTH ANDOVER, MASS. (WHDH) - North Andover Middle School was evacuated Thursday after smoke was seen coming from an old tank in the school’s basement.

Acting Superintendent Pam Lathrop and Town Manager Melissa Rodrigues in a statement said contractors were removing a tank containing old science lab materials when they determined the tank “may not have been fully emptied.” The tank started smoking and officials opted to evacuate the school as a precaution.

Authorities declared a Tier 2 hazmat incident near 10 a.m. Officials told 7NEWS roughly 1,000 students were then taken by bus to North Andover High School where they gathered in the school gym.

North Andover’s fire chief said crews did not know which specific chemicals were involved in this incident as of around 12:30 p.m. A regional hazardous materials team remained on scene, with a sizable emergency response still visible outside the middle school.

Officials said the contractors who were removing the tank were triaged at the scene and found to have no injuries. Lathrop and Rodrigues said all students and staff were also safe.

Back at North Andover High School, school officials told middle school parents they could pick up their children. But a lengthy line was forming as of around 12:30 p.m. as parents flocked to the school campus.

7NEWS learned students had to evacuate without retrieving items from their lockers, meaning many left the middle school without cell phones or other personal items.

This is a developing story; stay with 7NEWS on-air and online for the latest updates.

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