Rogers reopens after tests determine building safe

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November 17, 2006

5:04 PM

Rogers Hall reopened Friday afternoon after an evacuation that morning due to what was thought at first to be a natural gas leak.

p. According to Director of News Services Brian Whitson, the chemical detected was actually hydrogen sulfide, and was being used by a chemistry class. The chemical was vented out of Rogers and created a natural gas-like smell in the surrounding area.

p. “The chemical was not a health risk at the diluted levels we experienced today,” Whitson said.

p. According to Campus Police Patrol Officer Chester Fowler, Landrum and Chandler Halls were also evacuated because students there could also smell the odor, due to heavy winds.

p. Chemistry Department Chair Gary Rice was teaching a class inside Rogers Hall when students noticed the odor. He said he opened a door to try to increase air circulation, but the air outside smelled worse than the air inside.

p. “I was getting ready to actually stop lecture because it seemed to be bothering too many people and then the fire alarm was pulled and basically we evacuated the entire building,” he said. “I’m glad it was today instead of yesterday when it was pouring down rain.”

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