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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Suspected gas leak shuts down Union

    Hundreds of UA students were evacuated from the Student Union Memorial Center around 6:30 p.m., last night when a Union employee suspected a gas leak and pulled the fire alarm, shutting down business for an hour and a half.

    Amanda Dwitkowski, a women’s studies junior and employee at Chick-Fil-A, said she heard a loud hissing noise coming from behind the restaurant’s chicken fryer.

    “”The noise just started getting louder and I smelled gas. It started getting worse,”” she said. “”The hose to the machine was leaking really bad.””

    Dwitkowski then called union operations manager David Brown, who could not turn off the gas pipe, she said. The correct procedure, according to the Union’s emergency handbook, was to pull the fire alarm.

    Doing so triggered the emergency shut-off switch for the gas line, Brown said.

    There was no gas leak, although one was reported over the police scanner, said Sgt. Eugene Mejia, public information officer for the University of Arizona Police Department.

    Attempts to contact the Tucson Fire Department to confirm a leak were unsuccessful last night.

    Students were evacuated from the building, 1303 E. University Blvd. Many sprawled out on the UA Mall grass. Others stood in clusters around the Union, taking the incident in stride.

    “”A very big guy just told us to get on the grass after we exited the back door, so we’ve just been hanging out,”” said Lauren Daniels, a dance freshman and Core employee.

    The “”Dan in Real Life”” movie premiere scheduled at the Gallagher Theater was delayed by about 30 minutes, but that didn’t stop students from attending, said Sean Hughes, the theater’s manager.

    “”I was a little worried that there would be some people that wouldn’t show up, but we had about 240 people here, so I guess the fire alarm didn’t pose any problems,”” he said.

    Brown said the Pima County Health Department will come in this morning to inspect Chick-Fil-A before giving approval to reopen.

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