Gas leak reported at the UI Ice Arena

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Aidan Finn

The Champaign Fire Department work in front of the UI Ice Arena after a gas leak. 406 E. Armory Avenue was closed off today due to a gas leak inside the UI Ice Arena with an alert sent by the University to avoid the area.

By Aidan Finn and Jonathan Alday

At 9:06 a.m. an Illini-Alert was sent out regarding a gas leak at the University of Illinois Ice Arena, 406 E. Armory Ave., with an advisory to avoid the area until it was deemed safe.

Firefighters quickly responded to the situation and blocked off the sideway, however, due to the nature of the leak, it was detected across campus.

“I saw the Illini-Alert this morning right before I started to walk to class and after stepping outside, I could smell a little bit of the air,” said Grant Leader, junior in Business, who smelled it from Green Street. “The wind was blowing that way, and as I walked down Fourth, it became just a little bit stronger.”

Champaign Fire Department spokesperson Randy Smith said that the Urbana Fire Department was called over to 406 E. Armory Ave at 8:39 a.m. after a small amount of gas was found around the meter. UFD then reached out to Ameren, who found the gas leak on the southside exterior, however, by the time Amren arrived on the scene, the gas had found its way into the building. 

Ameren media spokesperson, Marcelyn Love, said that Ameren crews found that one of the national gas distribution pipes was leaking from the cap. To prevent any further danger, all natural gas and electricity was cut off while workers made repairs.

In addition to that, the nearby Irwin Academic Services Center on 402 E. Armory Ave., was evacuated as well. Firefighters monitored the building and found no presence of gas within the building.

In recent memory, the southside exterior of the ice arena has hosted a teal tube, which at times has released pungent smoke toward the sidewalk. As Ameren groups arrived, they quickly focused on digging directly in front of the tube while a mobile ventilation unit, was blowing air into the southside entrance of the facility.

For students who usually walk by the facility on a regular basis, it was worrisome to go to class.

“I’m a little worried because I’m going to class in the Armory,” said Rachael Lott, freshman in LAS. “It initially said it was happening at the Armory, so I’m a little confused, but hopefully we’re safe and it’ll be all good.”

At 10:18 a.m., another Illini-Alert was sent saying that the gas leak was stopped and that crews were working onsite to address the issue. By 11:56 a.m., the UI community was notified that it was safe to approach the area.

 

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