Bibb Graves Hall gas leak leads to class disruptions, campus blockage

Maintenance vehicles form line of caution during safety procedures to eliminate a potentially dangerous gas leak at Bibb Graves Hall. Caution tape was put up as well to keep students, staff and faculty away from exposure to the leak or any danger it posed.

Ellen McDonald Volunteer Writer [email protected]

At approximately 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 1, UNA students, staff and faculty were told to evacuate both Bibb Graves Hall and the Collier Library after UNA maintenance staff, the UNA Police Department and the Florence Fire Department responded to a gas leak outside of Bibb Graves Hall.

According to the Assistant Vice President of Facilities Administration and Planning, Michael Gautney, “… a contractor was working at Bibb Graves Hall repairing a water leak and inadvertently hit a natural gas line just outside of the building.”

Both the library and Bibb Graves were evacuated as a precaution.

UNA freshman Chloe Neal was sitting in her English class in the library when her professor was forced to end class early and instructed the students to evacuate the building.

“When I walked outside there was a strong smell of gas,” Neal said.

Like many students, Neal was confused as to why her class had been cut short while others received emails informing them of class cancellations.

Students evaded the premises as UNA maintenance staff erected a barricade around the area where the gas leak occurred to prevent anyone from unknowingly entering the contaminated area.

Once evacuated, UNA maintenance staff worked quickly to resolve the issue and the leak was sealed that day.

“At approximately 3 p.m. the repair was completed on the gas line and the buildings were reopened,” Gauntney said.