Weatherford Democrat

October 1, 2013

Gas leak prompts college’s closing


Weatherford Democrat

— By CHRISTIN COYNE

Weatherford College took precautionary measures and evacuated its main campus Tuesday afternoon after a utility crew struck a gas line across the street.

Though the gas was quickly shut off and College Park Drive reopened within the hour, the college was expected to be closed through the evening, as well.

A crew was digging near a transformer located near the southern portion of College Park Drive and hit a gas line they didn’t know was there, believed to be a 4-inch line, Weatherford Fire Marshal Bob Hopkins said.

A wind out of the south was blowing the gas toward the college, Hopkins said, adding that though the risk is typically reduced with a wind, which helps dilute the gas, the smell can be nauseating to people. 

The fire department advised the school of the leak and all students and college personnel were evacuated from the campus, with the exception of student housing, which college police determined to be far enough away from the leak, according to college spokesman Brent Baker.

Not many classes were scheduled for late Tuesday afternoon though many students had been using the library, the testing center and other student services, Baker said.

Out of an abundance of caution, the school cancelled classes Tuesday evening, as well, Baker said.

Authorities alerted the school of the closing through campus email, Facebook, the school’s website and through the Coyote Alert notification system.

“The campus was pretty desolate when I left about a half hour ago,” Baker said Tuesday afternoon.