Bio-hazard scare… again

By Rene Bodack

The evacuation last week of Kinesiology A and MacEwan Student Centre proved to be the second false alarm on campus in as many months.

“Wednesday night the Kinesiology staff, in their regular order of business, they were changing chlorine tanks,” said Campus Security Manager Lanny Fritz. “My understanding is, every so often there is what they call a burp in the line. So there is just a small amount of chlorine released that has an odour to it. And that minute amount set off the alarm.”

The staff evacuated the building and the alarm automatically called the Calgary Fire Department.

“Because they left in such a hurry, [staff] were not absolutely certain if they shut [the chlorine tank] off or if it was now released,” said Fritz. “So based on that information, they had to go to their first level of response which is to have people in more secure suits with the decontamination equipment available to decontaminate them immediately if required.”

That was the reason for the return of the kiddie-pool announced in last week’s Gauntlet.

“So, long story short,” said Fritz. “Once fire department all suited up did go in, they found that there was no more chlorine, the valve was in fact shut off.”

To make things more complicated, caretaking people had incidentally spilled some cleaning fluid in MSC at the same time, and it had a chlorine smell in it as well. Because they heard about the chlorine incident, they also set off the fire alarm and the building was evacuated.

Fritz reported the general security situation here on campus has been calm lately. Security reports since September included a couple incidents involving intoxicated individuals and some youth stupidity.

Three youth were rollerblading through buildings, throwing papers and ripping posters off of bulletin boards. The youth were caught, forced to cleaned up their mess and turned over to their parents.

“One of the things we are concerned about, we’ve had a couple of laptops stolen,” said Fritz.

Fritz warned students to mind their belongings.

“People are studying or they are at the food court area and they may leave their laptops for a few minutes as they go and buy a coffee or take a washroom break,” said Fritz. “They come back and their laptop, suitcases and books and the whole backpack is taken.”

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