Gas leak at Patten Gymnasium, area evacuated

Julianna Nunez

Northwestern Emergency Management sent out texts, emails and phone calls on Monday at approximately 2:26 p.m. alerting all NU students and faculty of a gas leak at Patten Gym. According to the message, police evacuated residences and fraternities on the North Quad of campus.

Police Commander Darren Davis said the NU Police Department received a fire alarm call from Kemper Hall at approximately 1:37 p.m. Upon arrival, Davis said University Police and a community assistant of the residence all detected a strong odor. He said NU’s Office of Risk Management then determined the smell was coming from a broken gas line at 2400 block of Sheridan Road.

In addition to University Police and Risk Management, Evanston Police Department, Evanston Fire Department, University Relations, Nicor Gas, Information Technology and Facilities Management all responded to the incident. Davis said officials closed Sheridan Road from Lincoln Street. to Noyes Street. Students and faculty received another alert from NU Emergency Management at 4:43 p.m. which said emergency workers had evacuated 15 buildings near Patten Gymnasium.

Nicor Gas fixed the gas leak and at 6:34 p.m., Davis said the emergency alert system notified students and workers that they could safely return to the evacuated area.

Sam Sullivan, a rising sophomore, said he was taking a class at Kellogg when he received the alert on his phone. Sullivan said he spent most of the day away from the evacuated area, but had a minor confrontation with a police officer when he tried to get back into his room in the Delta Upsilon house.

“Later on that day, when they reopened DU and I was trying to get past the yellow tape and this police officer chased me and yelled at me,” he said laughing. “But an electrical worker said it was okay for me to walk by (to get to my room).”

NU Emergency Management alerts said no one was injured in the incident.

Julianna Nunez