Gas leak prompts evacuation at LCC

      EUGENE, Ore. A gas leak forced Lane Community College to shut down one of its buildings.

      Staff in Building 16, which houses the majority of math and science classrooms, reported the smell of natural gas around 9:30 a.m.

      The school immediately called Goshen Rural Fire and Northwest Natural Gas, evacuating occupants of the building at approximately 9:40.

      The gas to the complex was turned off while officials try to located the source of the leak. It originated from a broken line in a laboratory classroom.

      Lane Community College's Dennis Carr said Friday is one of the busiest days on campus for classes.

      Carr estimated several hundred students were evacuated, and between 50 to 75 staff and faculty were impacted by the incident.

      Despite the inconvenience, the evacuation procedure went smoothly.

      "You never want a natural gas leak to occur in a facility that has a lot of people in it. But we believe it was handled as expeditiously and as safely as possible," Carr said.

      Lane Community College said Building 16 was re-opened at 2 p.m. and normal scheduling resumed.

      Administrators are still figuring out how classes impacted by the incident will be made up.