UCSD Building Evacuated Due to Gas Leak - NBC 7 San Diego

UCSD Building Evacuated Due to Gas Leak

A worker accidentally cut the wrong gas pipe and became unconscious



    Three people were sent to the hospital after an accidental gas leak at Jacobs Hall on the campus of UC San Diego Thursday. A contractor accidentally cut into a gas line, knocking him unconscious. NBC 7’s Lauren Lee has the latest. (Published Thursday, March 27, 2014)

    An engineering building at the University of California San Diego was evacuated Thursday morning after a hazardous gas leak.

    A representative from UC San Diego’s Triton Alert system told NBC 7 the incident happened at the EBU1 building at Warren Mall, also known as Jacobs Hall.

    The alert system asked students to stay away from the area and avoid Voight Drive between Hopkins and Gilman due to emergency vehicles in the roadway.

    Officials with San Diego Fire-Rescue were called to the college campus in La Jolla at around 9:20 a.m. to investigate the incident.

    UCSD Building Evacuated after Gas Leak

    [DGO]UCSD Building Evacuated after Gas Leak
    An engineering building at UC San Diego was evacuated after a contractor apparently cut a gas line. The incident sent several people to the hospital. NBC 7’s Lauren Lee has the latest.
    (Published Thursday, March 27, 2014)

    Officials said a worker installing a new air-control system at the building accidentally cut the wrong gasoline pipe. The worker became unconscious and was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital.

    By noon, Garry MacPherson, director of environment, health and safety at UCSD told NBC 7 the worker had regained consciousness and was recovering.

    Another man and a woman suffering from breathing problems were also taken to the hospital after the gas leak.

    Hazmat officials and crews from the Department of Environmental Health were called to the scene to assist in the investigation. As of 11 a.m., fire officials were still inspecting the building, which remained evacuated and closed for several hours.

    By 2 p.m., MacPherson said all three people who were taken to the hospital had been released. Their tests did not show anything toxic in their systems.

    He said hazmat investigators discovered that the worker actually cut into a duct and residual gas in that tube was released. Officials still don't know what type of gas it was, but they believe it may have been nitrogen, which could make people feel light-headed and dizzy.

    UC San Diego is currently on spring break, so there were no classes in session at the time of Thursday's incident.

    A grad student who does research work in Jacobs Hall told NBC 7 he was on his way into the building when he saw everyone evacuating. He got an email alert message immediately from the school warning him of the incident.

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