Underground boring leads to leak and evacuation of three buildings

Contact: Cheryl Roland

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Underground boring being carried out as part of a campuswide effort to install new signage resulted in crews hitting a gas line on the west edge of Western Michigan University's main campus Thursday, May 18.

The incident and resulting reports of a strong odor of natural gas led campus authorities to evacuate three campus buildings at about 1 p.m. and issue a campus alert asking people to avoid the area around WMU's Parking Services building. Parking Services, which is located on West Michigan Avenue, as well as the nearby Faunce Student Services and Trimpe buildings, were evacuated as part of the campus response.

Consumers Energy was on site quickly, and the process of shutting the line down was initiated. Completion of the project awaits the arrival of additional Consumers Energy crews. People on campus should avoid the area until further notice.

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