Hundreds evacuated from NHI1 building due to gas leak

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The Nursing and Health Innovation I building was declared safe to reenter after more than a hundred people evacuated Wednesday morning due to a gas odor that was detected, officials said. (Evie Carpenter/DD)


By Jack Fitzpatrick and Connor Radnovich

The Nursing and Health Innovation I building was declared safe to reenter after it was evacuated Wednesday morning due to a gas odor that was detected, officials said.

A small leak was found on one of the building’s gas lines after approximately 100 people were evacuated at about 9:45 a.m., according to spokesperson Ann Seiden of Southwest Gas, the company who provides gas for the building. The Phoenix Fire Department said as many as 200 people were evacuated from the building.

Seiden said the smell was detected in the lobby area and was caused by an appliance in the building.

ASU staff members made rounds of the building telling all occupants to leave, said April Johnson, a program coordinator for the College of Nursing and Health Innovation. Johnson said she and other evacuees were told by ASU staff that there was a gas leak, and that firefighters were on the elevators making sure everyone was evacuating.

Johnson said ASU staff members were in the process of going through a cell phone call list to make sure everyone was evacuated, but that she had not received an ASU emergency alert.

Capt. John Goodall of the Phoenix Fire Department said Southwest Gas was at the scene at 10:15 a.m. to try to find the location of the leak.

As of approximately 10:40 a.m., Mike Wilson, ASU Police commander at the Downtown campus, said, due to fire department preparing to leave, that there was little hazard still remaining.

“This happens all the time on Tempe (campus),” Wilson said.

Contact the reporters at john.l.fitzpatrick@asu.edu and connor.radnovich@asu.edu

Correction: March 30, 2011

An earlier version of this story inaccurately reported that the gas leak and subsequent evacuation occurred in the Nursing and Health Innovation II building. The gas leak occurred in the Nursing and Health Innovation I building.

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