UNT Area Sees Fifth Gas Leak Within Several Weeks

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The University of North Texas experienced a fifth gas leak near the Denton campus on Thursday. The leak occurred while crews were attempting to repair another gas leak. (Published Thursday, Nov 14, 2013)

    For the fifth time in just a matter of weeks, the University of North Texas was dealing with a gas leak.

    University spokesman Buddy Price said an Atmos Energy crew noticed the leak in a feeder line under Eagle Drive late that morning and immediately shut down a portion of the road for several hours to fix it.

    Workers noticed the leak while working on replacing another pipeline near Kerr Hall on the east side of campus that had forced an evacuation of the dormitory the day before. That line was struck while crews were replacing an older line that UNT had found was leaking earlier in the week.

    The older line had a minor lead that did not lead to any evacuations.

    The 1,000 or so residents of Kerr Hall, a mostly freshman dorm, were evacuated Wednesday as a precaution because the line that was struck that day was so near.

    "We hear the alarms go off, we figure it's a drill," Kat Dodgen said. "We put all our stuff down and we march out -- pajamas, no shoes, whatever we are doing we just put down and left."

    Price said the students were out of the dorm for about two hours while workers took care of the leak.

    "The first reaction is take care of the people immediately," he said. "If we need to evacuate, evacuate. UNT police, Denton Fire Department were on the scene almost immediately."

    Wednesday's leak was the second recent leak to result in an evacuation. Price said another went into effect when a city crew hit a gas line while working on water pipes under Highland Street. That work actually resulted in two gas leaks, but only the one lead to evacuation.

    With the high volume of construction projects all around campus right now, the possibility of an accidental leak is always there, Price said. Safety will continue to be the university's top priority, he said.

    Students said the series of leaks is getting old, but they're glad to see quick responses to them.

    "I think they have it under control now, hopefully," Dodgen said.

    Thursday's leak did not result in any evacuations. Price notes that none of the five leaks have resulted in fires, explosions or injuries.