D.C. FEMS, Washington Gas respond to gas leak near Amsterdam Hall

Media Credit: Olivia Anderson | Photo Editor

GW sent an alert Tuesday announcing that there was no access to Amsterdam Hall and that a stretch of 24th Street between G and H streets was closed due to a gas leak.

Updated: August 1, 2017 at 2:26 p.m.

A gas line ruptured on the construction site at St. Mary’s Church, causing Amsterdam Hall and the adjacent parking garage to close for about an hour Tuesday morning, according to a D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services spokesman.

D.C. FEMS arrived on the scene at 9:13 a.m. when they received reports that gas appeared to be seeping into the parking garage on 24th Street and then they determined it was coming from a ruptured gas line at St. Mary’s where there is ongoing construction, the spokesman said. D.C. FEMS left the scene while Washington Gas, the gas supplier, resolved the situation, he said.

Washington Gas spokesman Bernie Taylor said that the incident was the result of a third party construction crew striking and damaging their gas line. Washington Gas immediately responded to the scene, worked to secure the area and repaired the gas leak.

“The leak has been repaired, gas service restored, and onsite work has been completed,” Taylor said in an email. “There were no reported outages, the area is safe.”

A University Police Department officer on the scene said the church and Amsterdam Hall were not evacuated.

GW sent an alert at 10:08 a.m. announcing that there was no access to Amsterdam Hall or the garage, and that a stretch of 24th Street between G and H streets was closed due to a gas leak.

University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said Amsterdam Hall was evacuated of all staff and residents when GW sent the alert. Access was restored to the building and garage at about 10:30 a.m., Csellar said.

The gas leak was contained and both Amsterdam Hall and the garage were reopened in about an hour, according to a second GW alert sent at about 11 a.m.

There are currently 160 residents living in Amsterdam, but many were not present at the time of the leak, Csellar said.

“There aren’t a lot of residents there right now because a lot of the residents are summer interns,” she said.

Washington Gas employees remained inside the building to assess the situation but no one else was allowed in until the situation was resolved, Csellar said.

Cayla Harris contributed reporting.

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