Construction strikes second unmarked gas line

Construction near Faner Hall ruptured a second gas line around 10 a.m. Tuesday.

A one-inch gas line that runs between Parkinson Laboratory and Faner Hall was struck, which caused the university to activate the mass email alert system to warn faculty, staff and students, said Rod Sievers, university spokesman.

Todd Sigler, director of the department for public safety, said this particular break was significantly smaller than the first, which occurred May 31 outside Faner Hall.

“With construction projects, they mark where everything is from electrical, to water, to gas lines,” Sievers said. “Ameren does the marking of their own gas lines and these lines simply weren’t marked, so the workers using backhoes just doing their jobs had no idea there were lines there.”

Internal air samples were taken by the Carbondale Fire Department inside nearby at-risk buildings to determine if gas was present, Sigler said.

He said the readings from Faner Hall, Parkinson Laboratory, the Student Center and the Allyn Building were safe and did not require evacuation.

Sievers said the first incident ruptured a two-inch gas line and required the evacuation of five buildings until 1 p.m.

He said to classify one worse than the other is difficult because both breaks had different scenarios.

The first was larger but affected very few people because classes were not in session, while the second was smaller but classes were in session, Sievers said.

As summer construction continues, students, staff and faculty may need to turn an eye to the notification systems in place for the university.

The university has a layered approach to informing faculty, staff and students about occurrences on campus, Sievers said.

Sigler said only the email alert system was used for both breaks because the danger did not justify activating the text message alert system.

Sievers said faculty, staff and students alike should always pay attention to the email and text message alert systems  so they  are aware.

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About Tiffany Blanchette

Senior at SIUC majoring in photojournalism and zoology. Can be easily reached at or 618-536-3311 ext. 254.

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