SCHOOL CONFIRMS “GAS LEAK” AT ENGINEERING FACILITY
|| By FITSNEWS || The Columbia, S.C. fire department is responding to a reported ammonia leak on the campus of the University of South Carolina.
Several streets around the Swearingen Engineering Center – located at 300 Main Street – have been blocked off by fire department personnel and officers of the Columbia, S.C. police department. The building itself has also been evacuated. Additionally, fire department personnel successfully rescued a disabled person from a second floor lab, according to our sources.
Ammonia – a nitrogen and hydrogen compound – is a key pharmaceutical building block. It is a light, colorless gas that emits a strong odor.
In addition to police and fire units, a hazardous materials (HAZMAT) team has also been dispatched to the Swearingen building. No word yet on what triggered the leak – or whether emergency responders had successfully shut it off.
According to our sources, firemen were “attempting to locate pressure relief valves and (a) shutoff valve.”
Hold up … there’s no one there who knows where those valves are?
Anyway, as we like to say “developing.”
UPDATE: Via a “Carolina Alert,” the school has confirmed a “gas leak” at the facility. Meanwhile a pair of fire department teams are preparing to enter the building to perform “atmospheric monitoring.”
UPDATE II: No official “all clear” yet, but our sources say both fire department teams have exited the building and that “valves have been turn off and secured.”