A pavement collapse punctured a gas line on Hospital Hill forcing about 200 people to be evacuated from University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Health Sciences Building Thursday morning.
The pavement gave way as a contractor for Kansas City Water Services brought in heavy equipment to fix a broken water main in the area, said Jennifer Rusch, media relations coordinator for Kansas City Water Services.
As it collapsed, the pavement punctured the gas line near 25th and Holmes streets.
“We evacuated the building as a precaution and will let people back in after the line is sealed,” said John Martellaro, UMKC’s director of media relations. “There definitely was an odor in the building.”
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The Health Sciences Building, at 2464 Charlotte St., houses UMKC’s School of Pharmacy and School of Nursing & Health Studies.
The people evacuated from the building had access to other buildings including UMKC’s Medical Building, so they could use restrooms and get water if needed, Martellaro said.
Repairs to the gas line were expected to take between two to four hours. The decision to cancel classes has not been made.
Students and faculty were alerted to the gas leak via UMKC’s emergency alert system, which uses e-mail, texts and telephones.
The pavement collapsed because dirt under it had eroded away, Rusch said. Water Services will investigate whether a sewer line near there is cracked and allowed dirt to be washed away.
Fire crews and gas company workers were at the location of the break.
Robert A. Cronkleton, email@example.com