Breaking news: chemical spill in Goessman shuts down building

By Collegian News Staff

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

Update 4:30 p.m.

At around 4:00 p.m., Goessman was all cleared by the hazardous materials team, said Thomas O’Regan, emergency management and business continuity manager. The dean and provost will work to finalize the rescheduling of classes in Goessman.

The Goessman laboratory building has been shut down and evacuated after a chemistry department faculty member found a leaking ammonia tank at 10 a.m. this morning, said Daniel Fitzgibbons, associate director of news and media relations at the University of Massachusetts.

The leak was reported to the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, who notified the UMass fire and police departments. They in turn contacted a Hazardous Materials team. The building was closed between 10 and 10:30 a.m., said Fitzgibbons. Classes were canceled in the morning and afternoon classes have been rescheduled to other locations. A full list of the news classroom sites can be found on the UMass.edu home page.

Fitzgibbons said he was hopeful the building would be cleared “by the end of the day.” The final decision will be up to the Hazardous Materials team charged with removing the tank. After the leak has been contained, the team will make “final determinations on when the building can be reopened,” Fitzgibbons said.

Stay with DailyCollegian.com as we follow up on this report.