Students evacuated after construction causes gas leak

By on October 23, 2013
Photo by Harris Buchanan / Staff Photographer

Joshua Knopp / Staff Writer

Update

The police said the gas leak has been clamped, but Avenue C and Highland Street will remain blocked off one block in each direction for an undetermined amount of time.

Original story as of 6 p.m. Oct. 23

Two gas lines were severed during city of Denton water pipe construction at the Avenue C and Highland Street intersection. Atmos Energy, who operates the lines, will do repairs into the night.

A police officer on the scene said the crews will be done at about 11 p.m. tonight.

Denton deputy fire chief Kenneth Hedges said one residential line was cut and a high-pressure main was nicked.

Atmos Energy public affairs manager John Manganilla said workers needed to cut gas supply from four directions before they can repair the lines themselves.

Hedges said this leak is related to the leak on Highland and Avenue D a few weeks ago.

“It will be looked into and investigated further, especially since this is the second incident,” he said.

Hedges said the fire department evacuated the Music Practice Buildings and the Music Annex to make sure gas didn’t build up in either buildings. Police have blocked off one block in every direction from the leak.

Resident assistants in Maple Hall, directly South of the leak, said they couldn’t smell gas, but Bruce Hall resident assistants said the frequent traffic let the gas smell in.

Bruce Hall resident assistant and undeclared sophomore Sean Stephan said he saw the evacuation.

“The cops were like, ‘Clear out!’ It was awesome,” he said. “This is a very busy building, so the doors open, and the air gets in.”

Additionally, the cautioned-off area is interrupting foot traffic.

Pre-studio art junior and Bruce Hall resident assistant Hannah Lupa was going to Bawarchi for lunch, directly across Eagle Drive on Avenue C from the construction. She said the construction complicated her trip.

“It took longer for me to get to the place than it did for them to make my food,” she said.

Atmos Energy workers stand by with a fire extinguisher as excavation workers  dig down to the gas line Wednesday afternoon at the intersection of Highland and  Avenue C. Photo by Harris Buchanan / Staff Photographer

Atmos Energy workers stand by with a fire extinguisher as excavation workers
dig down to the gas line Wednesday afternoon at the intersection of Highland and
Avenue C. Photo by Harris Buchanan / Staff Photographer

A pressurized gas line at the intersection of Highland and Avenue C was hit by construction crews Wednesday afternoon. The area around the incident was evacuated by Denton Police and Fire Department including all pedestrian and street traffic. Feature photo by Harris Buchanan / Staff Photographer 

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