Natural gas leak causes evacuation at MU

Friday, May 16, 2008 | 4:26 p.m. CDT; updated 2:23 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — Authorities evacuated about 100 people from MU’s Lafferre Hall at about 11:30 a.m. Friday after a 1-inch gas line was cut at a construction site near the building.

The MU and Columbia police departments helped Columbia Fire Department crews close Sixth Street and Stewart Road and evacuate a one-block area of pedestrian traffic surrounding the building, according to a Fire Department news release.

AmerenUE and fire crews used combustible gas-monitoring equipment in Lafferre Hall and several other buildings, including Jesse Hall, to make sure that the gas was not spreading, according to the release.

The leak caused the graduation ceremony for the College of Veterinary Medicine to be postponed for about 10 minutes. Some students’ final examinations were also disrupted, MU spokesman Christian Basi said.

No fire, structural damage or injuries occurred, and AmerenUE crews resolved the problem, according to the release.

The road closures and evacuations were lifted at about 1 p.m.

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