Gas leak cleared after thousands of people evacuated from University of St. Thomas, officials say

Miya Shay Image
Wednesday, August 30, 2023
Univ. of St. Thomas gas leak prompts evacuations
A gas leak at the University of St. Thomas prompts an evacuation near Moran Center Parking Garage Building and Crooker Center, officials say.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A gas leak at the University of St. Thomas is now clear after thousands of people were evacuated Wednesday afternoon, according to the school.

At about 6 p.m., the university said the gas leak stopped, adding that students, faculty, and staff can resume normal activities.

The university posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, at about 3:41 p.m., that the Moran Center Parking Garage Building and Crooker Center were temporarily closed due to a gas leak.

The university told Eyewitness News that the Guinan Residence Hall and other nearby office buildings were also evacuated.

Carla Alsandor, chief university services officer, said a repair was being done after an A/C cooling plant had a water leak.

Alsandor said the gas leak happened when crews were handling excavation work in preparation for the repair at the half-circular drive on Graustark.

"Maybe a couple of thousand students, faculty, and staff members were at the campus at the time," Alsandor said. "It probably looks a little more intense than it is because the gas is coming up through the water, that's underneath the ground, leaking."

Alsandor said no one was injured.

Students were told to wait at Jerabeck Activity and Athletic Center or the library as firefighters were securing the area.

In an update at 4:30 p.m., school officials said students who need to get their cars from the Moran Garage can take the pathway on the Chapel side near the labyrinth, turn left on West Alabama, and enter the garage from Graustark.

The update came an hour after students were told they couldn't retrieve their vehicles or exit the garage.

For news updates, follow Miya Shay on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.