UC Berkeley In Brief
Broken gas line prompts evacuation of Foothill, Stern residence halls
BERKELEY – Foothill Student Housing and Stern Hall were evacuated Monday afternoon because of a gas leak resulting from a traffic accident. All of the affected buildings were reopened to residents by 5 p.m., but Foothill buildings 6, 7, 8 and 9 will not have heat and hot water until Tuesday afternoon at the earliest, campus officials said.
The incident began around 1:15 p.m. Monday, when a delivery truck on Cyclotron Road near Foothill's Building 6 apparently lost control while backing up, colliding with and breaking a high-pressure gas line outside the building, according to UC police. Foothill and Stern halls, at the northeast corner of campus, were evacuated as a result.
No one was injured in the accident, but campus police made sure students stayed out of the area while PG&E crews worked on capping the gas leak. The Berkeley Fire Department also was on the scene, and power was shut off to four Foothill buildings in the immediate area as a safety precaution.
The gas line was capped late Monday afternoon after a crew worked on it for several hours, said Bob Oehler, director of housing facilities and operations services for UC Berkeley’s Residential and Student Service Programs. Campus industrial hygienists then checked air quality in the affected buildings, he said, and each was given a green light.
On Tuesday, said Oehler, workers will fix the area of the gas line that was sheared off in the accident, and restore service to the four Foothill buildings currently without heat and hot water.
The Foothill housing complex accommodates 776 students and 21 staff members, and Stern Hall houses 267 students and seven staff members.