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Petroleum leak prompts evacuations of several buildings, arenas on UMN campus

MINNEAPOLIS — Emergency responders are looking into a petroleum leak that prompted evacuations of several University of Minnesota arenas and buildings late Tuesday morning.

The Minneapolis Fire Department confirmed the leak occurred in the sewer around Fifth and Oak streets southeast. Fire officials say contractors working in the sewer tunnels reported the leak after their gas monitors spiked. The contractors also smelled and saw petroleum in the sewer tunnel.  

According to the university, the gas odor has prompted evacuations at Williams Arena, Huntington Bank Stadium, McNamara, Aquatics Center, Recreation Center, and Mariucci and Maturi Sports Pavilion. 

Two campus transit routes on the east and west banks, the Connector and Campus Circulator, have been suspended until further notice, the school said.

The MFD battalion chief told WCCO the highest gas readings are at 14th and University avenues. Some readings have reached the “lower explosive limit,” the chief said, which is the lowest concentration at which gas will burn in air.

Roads in the area are closed, and everyone is advised to stay clear of the area. 


CBS News

Fire officials say multiple agencies are monitoring and working to mitigate the scene. 

The petroleum leak comes a month after an underground explosion rumbled University Avenue near the campus, blowing manhole covers off a stretch of the road and prompting evacuations. A state investigation into that incident is ongoing. 

This is a developing story, so check back for more. 

Source: CBS Minnesota

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