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Gas Leak at Lane Community College

EUGENE, Ore. — Hundreds of students and staff at Lane Community College were forced to evacuate a building on campus because of a gas leak Friday morning.

Classes were cancelled in the math and science building 16.

Stanley Brewer was one of the first to notice the leak.

“The smell is kind of overwhelming,” Brewer said. “We were actually in class, and I noticed the smell of gas.”

His teacher opened the doors to vent the classroom, but it wasn’t enough.

“Then another teacher came in and said we have to evacuate. There’s been a gas leak. School’s cancelled,” Brewer said.

School officials say public safety was alerted of the leak at about 9:30 a.m. Ten minutes later, emergency responders were on scene.

“Northwest Natural Gas believes they’ve isolated a potential source to the north of the building in one of the laboratories,” said Dennis Carr, Chief Human Resources Officer.

While crews worked on finding the leak and fixing the problem, some students got started on an early weekend, but others were stuck.

“Some of them had to evacuate without getting their backpacks, purses or keys,” Carr said.

“They came in and said everybody needs to leave the building right now and leave your stuff. So, my car keys are in there. I don’t have a way to get home,” said student Claire Maederer.

After more than an hour, the school let some faculty members back inside to help gather things people had left behind.

Repairs to the gas line were finished by about 2 p.m. and the building was reopened.

Though no one was physically hurt, some students say this was not the way they wanted to start off the term.

“I’m worried about my math class getting cancelled, you know. It’s kind of an important day. Just don’t want to miss out on school,” Brewer said.

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