Coffman evacuated Tuesday because of gas odor

Geoffrey Ziezulewicz

University officials evacuated Coffman Union for approximately 30 minutes Tuesday because employees said they smelled natural gas.

Officials placed the first notice of a gas-like odor around 4:20 p.m. The smell was largely confined to the east side of the third and fourth floors of the building, said Maggie Towle, campus director of Twin Cities Student Unions.

A notice to evacuate was broadcast over the intercom and employees helped get everyone out, she said.

The evacuation took less than 10 minutes and proceeded without problems, she said.

University police and officials from the Department of Environmental Health and Safety came and found no evidence of a gas leak, she said.

Towle blamed the funny scent on a “transient smell,” or wafts from nearby research buildings.

“Everything is all clear here,” she said, after reopening the building.