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UTSC campus closes due to potential gas leak

Emergency protocol calls for evacuation
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This morning, UTSC announced on Twitter that it was closing campus because of a reported gas smell, which could indicate a possible gas leak. In a message to students, UTSC asked that they not go to campus for any reason. 

In an email to The Varsity, Andrew Arifuzzaman, UTSC’s chief administrative officer, confirmed that, as of approximately 1:15 pm this afternoon, the smell was only coming from one building on campus and that an investigation with the help of Toronto Fire was ongoing. 

Arifuzzaman wrote that the university expects to reopen campus fully tomorrow, but will confirm on multiple platforms with community members when Toronto Fire deems it safe to return. 

In a case like this, the university’s emergency protocol states that community members should cease all activities, evacuate the area, and inform Campus Safety. It also warns that, if there is a gas leak causing the smell, cell phones, lights, and other electricity sources could all set it off.

Brennan Halsall, a fifth-year history student at UTSC, wrote in an email to The Varsity that they had just gotten to campus when they were turned around by security personnel at Highland Hall due to the gas smell.

“There were a few other students just outside [Highland] but not that many, so I had thought they were just hanging out outside,” wrote Halsall. They wrote that their class was cancelled for the day and would be available for video viewing later. 

UTSC announced later today that it had “isolated the problem” that caused the smell. While campus will remain closed today, it will reopen as usual on Friday September 17. 

Editor’s Note (September 16): This story has been updated to include comment from Arifuzzaman, and to update that campus will reopen on September 17.