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Koffler evacuated after pipe break


Photo
EVAN CARAVELLI/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Jeni Reichert, a pre-pharmacy sophomore, speaks to Dr. Anne Padias, director of academic services for the department of chemistry, after being evacuated from her class in the Koffler building yesterday afternoon. A steam line burst on the third floor, causing 800 -1,000 students to be evacuated.
By Kris Cabulong
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, September 10, 2004
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Between 800 and 1,000 students and faculty were evacuated from the Koffler building at 1:40 p.m. yesterday after a steam line burst on the third floor, said Anne Padias, director of academic services for the department of chemistry.

According to Padias, a steam line burst in a mechanical room on the third floor, setting off fire alarms and sprinklers.

"When we started the lab, the alarms just started, and the TA didn't know what was going on," said Jessica Tatarelli, physiological sciences sophomore.

The evacuation went quickly and orderly, but hundreds of students, including Tatarelli, left behind bags, notebooks and other belongings.

"We just came out here, and we're just waiting for them to let us inside so we can get our stuff back," she said.

On the outside of the building, water poured through the bricks and dripped down the walls.

Two vans with loud vacuum pumps were parked in the gravel in front of the building. Twisting blue hoses snaked up the outside steps to the flooded third floor.

Shane Morrison, biochemistry junior, said at least two fire trucks were on the scene.

"There were four firefighters that went up to check it out. They came back down and put on their full gear before going back in," he said.

"I just took my purse, and I didn't take my backpack because I figured we'd be back in five minutes later," said Variatee Montgomery, pre-pharmacy sophomore.

Montgomery and others were not allowed back into the building to collect their belongings until 4 p.m., though the building's northeast wall was still dripping steadily, Montgomery said.

Make-up labs in the building were canceled for the early afternoon, but most of the building was open for 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. labs, said Cynthia Runkel, a prep room manager in the chemistry department.

However, the third floor remained closed last night.

Runkel said that a means of accommodating those students who missed their make-up labs will be discussed at a staff meeting taking place today.

The full extent of the damage to the Koffler building was unknown yesterday.



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