Southwest evacuated after gas leak

By Aviva Luttrell

Collegian File Photo
Collegian File Photo

The Southwest Residential Area was evacuated Tuesday afternoon after a contractor struck a gas main at a construction site near the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue, according to University of Massachusetts spokesperson Jared Sharpe.

Everybody in the area was told to go to lots 32 or 33. Anybody parked in lot 42, near Boyden Gym, was told not to go near or start their car.

Sharpe said that Berkshire gas was on the scene shortly after the incident occurred.

The University’s outdoor warning system was activated, and text and email alerts were sent out.

“Berkshire gas, as of a little while ago, notified us that they are going to be turning gas off in the area,” Sharpe said.

He said that some houses in the area, most likely on Lincoln Street and Fearing Street, are expected to experience gas outages.

UMass does not plan to evacuate any more buildings, including the Whitmore Administration Building according to an alert sent out shortly after 3 p.m.

This is the second gas leak on campus in the past year. The first occurred in September when a construction worker outside of the W.E.B. Du Bois library ruptured a gas line, shutting down the center of campus for almost an hour.

Aviva Luttrell can be reached at [email protected]