Hydraulic fluid leak causes evacuation at MU building

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 | 10:13 p.m. CDT
Eight emergency vehicles responded to a 911 call about a hydraulic fluid leak in MU's Middlebush Hall on Wednesday. Middlebush Hall was evacuated and no one was harmed.

COLUMBIA — Eight units from the Columbia Fire Department were dispatched to Middlebush Hall at MU around 5 p.m. Wednesday, fire department Battalion Chief James Weaver said.

The units were responding to a 911 call from a person who had seen fluid leaking from a mechanical room in Middlebush. The liquid was hydraulic fluid from an elevator, MU spokesman Christian Basi said.

Middlebush Hall was evacuated around 5:15 p.m. MU students Rachel Fisher, Christine Sturms and Kimi Nolte were in their Public Health capstone class when they heard fire trucks. Ten minutes later, alarms in Middlebush Hall began sounding and the building was evacuated. 

There were no injuries reported, Basi said, and the cause of the leak had not been determined as of 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Basi said the fire department sent several units and members of the hazardous materials team because they did not know how severe or dangerous the leak would be. Middlebush Hall does not typically house dangerous chemicals, he said.

Units were clearing out of the area near University Avenue and Ninth Street by 6 p.m. Wednesday, and members of the MU Environmental Health and Safety Team were on the scene to clean up the spill.

Supervising editor is Zach Murdock.

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Michael Williams May 9, 2013 | 6:56 a.m.

We used to just call the janitor.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 9, 2013 | 7:37 a.m.

"Middlebush" has been a "four-letter word" at our campus since a nasty incident happened 65 years ago (1948) durung his presidency. It's covered in some detail in a 1983 book by historians Lawrence Christensen and Jack Ridley.

There are no academic or residence halls on the MS&T campus named "Jesse" or "Middlebush," and if you know your university history you won't be suprised to learn that.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams May 9, 2013 | 9:55 a.m.

Ellis: Well, since you were so cryptic in your post about horrible Middlebush sins in the Rolla environs, I had to do some searches on my own which I am loath to do since it eats into my busy retirement time.

I still don't know what happened, but I got a great chuckle from this excerpt from this source....linked and quoted below:

From page 7, concerning why the School of Mines (and Metallurgy, in small font for obvious reasons) was located in Rolla and not some other place equally obscure ;^)

"On May 5, 1870, the Board selected a committee composed of A.J. Conant, B.F. Northcutt, F.T. Russell, O.S. Reed, W.W. Orrick, and James S. Rollins to select the site. Five counties were interested in having the school located within their boundaries. The county courts of Washington and St. Francois counties submitted bond issues but voters rejected them. The committee refused to consider the bid of Madison County which was incorrectly prepared. Only Phelps and Iron counties presented substantial offers for the committee to consider. Both Phelps and Iron counties offered bonds and land, which complicated the bids because the value of the land could only be estimated. The Iron County Court pledged $83,500 in bonds and $30,000 in lands. Phelps County officials made an initial offer of $50,000 in bonds, but after learning of Iron County's bid, they increased that offer by $25,000. They also promised three parcels of land valued at $55,545. The committee appointed F.T. Russell and B.F. Northcutt to inspect the lands offered and evaluate the bids. Since Phelps County outbid Iron by $17,045, the committee recommended that Phelps receive the School. It also recommended that the Board locate the campus on the 130 acres known as Fort Wyman, one of the parcels of land donated by the county. The Board accepted both recommendations, and on March 10, 1871, the General Assembly confirmed these actions in law. The School of Mines and Metallurgy would be located in Rolla.

Is this the FIRST recorded TIF or gifts or whatever offered as inducements by the great State of Missouri????????

Geez, inducements ain't a NEW thingie at all....who woulda thunk it?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 9, 2013 | 12:11 p.m.

@ Michael Williams:

The Rolla site also included a brand new multi-story brick building, which had been built to be a high school, on the Civil War Fort Wyman site.

That building is still standing, equipped with modern heating and air conditioning, and houses the Mathematics Department (an essential part of anyone's technical institute); moreover, it is OUR logo in the same sense those ratty-lookin' columns are MU's. :)

One recent Mathematics faculty member has been Col. and NASA Astronaut Tom Akers, a popular calculus instructor.

Aside from the book I cited, the best description of 1948 events would be in the archives of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, if available. The newspaper not only reported events but assisted [then] MSM in publicising the issue involved.

So here is another surprise: print media began creating, rather than just reporting, news at least 65 years ago. :)

(Report Comment)

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