The Vermillion Fire EMS Department and a host of other local law enforcement and safety officials responded when a gas leak was reported at Coyote Village Residence Hall on the University of South Dakota campus at 4:55 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20.
The Vermillion Fire EMS Department responded to a reported smell of natural gas in the residence hall located at 901 Rose St. The first arriving unit found a strong smell of natural gas present on the first floor of the residence hall.
MidAmerican Energy was notified and asked to respond to the location. Upon further investigation, high levels of natural gas were found on the first floor of the building. A full evacuation of the facility was done as a precaution. All floors and rooms were searched to ensure all occupants had been evacuated.
Crews initiated ventilation on the first floor. While conducting searches, high levels of natural gas were found on the third and fourth floors. On arrival, MidAmerican Energy personnel deemed the levels dangerous and shut the gas off to the building.
Vermillion Light & Power responded at the request of MidAmerican and shut off the power to Coyote Village. Investigation revealed a broken gas pipe in a residence hall room. The line was isolated and shut off. Facilities Management staff and the University of South Dakota management team determined that the line would be capped and fixed later.
After the entire building had been ventilated, the gas was turned back on. Crews checked for any further natural gas leaks, and none were found. The power was restored to the building at that time.
The building was turned over to the USD by 8:22 p.m., and students returned to their residences. Residents of the room containing the broken pipe are being placed in temporary housing until the issue can be fixed.
There were no civilian or first responder injuries during this incident. Total call time was 3 hours and 27 minutes.
• Vermillion Fire EMS Department – 5 Apparatus / 2 Support Vehicles / 18 Personnel
• University of South Dakota Police Department
• City of Vermillion Police Department
• City of Vermillion Light and Power Department
• Clay County Emergency Management
• MidAmerican Energy