Residents warned of gas line break at University Village

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 | 6:38 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — An MU-run apartment complex slated for demolition had a gas line break Tuesday.

Shortly before 1:30 p.m., the office manager of University Student Apartments for MU warned University Village residents that a gas line break had occurred at the complex and told residents to stay away from the area where Ameren Missouri officials were working to fix it.

MU and Ameren gave conflicting accounts of what caused the gas line break. Bryan Daniels, an Ameren spokesman said that a third-party contractor who was working in the area for the university had cut the line. But Christian Basi, a spokesman for MU, said "the city accidentally cut the line" and saw that it was repaired.

Two Ameren trucks were in the area shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday to fix the gas line break. Most of the work was concentrated behind Building 704, in the southwest portion of the apartment complex. That building is unoccupied, according to previous Missourian reporting.

University Village will permanently close by June 30 and will be demolished shortly thereafter. The buildings' structural integrity came into question after part of a walkway collapsed at Building 707 in February and caused the death of Columbia firefighter Lt. Bruce Britt, who was responding to a structural emergency there.

An MU housing plan from 2008 recommended University Village be vacated and demolished by 2011.

Supervising editor is Edward Hart.

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Ellis Smith June 11, 2014 | 6:47 a.m.

More campus housing problems? Demolition of this particular facility is not coming soon enough. Having demolished it in 2011, as recommended in a 2008 housing plan, could have saved both a life and a lawsuit. The only consolation is that things could easily have been far worse.

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