During period five on 26 March, ninth grade MGCI student Abbas Raza walked over to turn off the sink in the tech lab. The faucet was so old and rusty that it broke off right in his hands. The main pipe carrying water into the school concentrated on the small hole, and water began spurting out of the wall with incredible pressure, putting all the equipment in the tech lab at risk.
The technology teachers were in the back room at the time and were shocked to walk out to the pandemonium. Luckily, the brave ninth grade student held his ground against the pressure to save the day.
“The water arced nearly 40 feet in the air over three rows of computers,” said technology teacher Ms. Bishop. Abbas diverted the water away from the computer area with his hands and chest, becoming soaked in the process. Technology teacher Mr. Gang hurried to help Abbas and alert the caretakers.
“Abbas was quite brave,” said Mr. Gang. “The water was ice cold, and the pressure was immense.”
“As soon as I touched the tap it broke, and the water began spurting out.” said Abbas. “I didn’t move, because the water would have made all the computers wet.” Abbas also expressed his concern for the other students in the class who would have been soaked by the burst.
Abbas and Mr. Gang held the water back with large garbage cans for about ten minutes before caretakers arrived.
The school’s caretakers did not locate a shutoff valve for the technology room, so the only solution was to turn off the water to the entire school. At that point, the school community was informed that all bathrooms and sinks had become non-operational.
The administration called for a TDSB emergency plumber, who luckily happened to be driving on Don Mills Road at the time. The plumber came in to fix the problem, and the school’s water was up and running by the end of the school day.
Ms. Bishop estimated the cost of each computer set to be $800. With twenty computer sets and other expensive equipment in range of the burst, Abass’ actions prevented a potential $16 000 in damages.
Both the school administration and the technology department have expressed their gratitude. “We’re indebted to him,” said Ms. Bishop. “Many students could have backed away, but Abbas stepped right up to the plate.”