Thirty four students from Mississippi University for Women were admitted to the hospital Tuesday after a carbon monoxide leak was reported in Kincannon Hall about 5 a.m. According to an official at Baptist Golden Triangle, the students were transported to the hospital either by ambulance or personal vehicle. By late afternoon, all students had been released from the hospital.
Columbus Fire and Rescue Spokesman Anthony Colom said that the gas leak was caused by a boiler in the basement of Kincannon. As a result of the malfunctioned boiler, the gas leak spread to all of the floors in the residence hall. Students were evacuated to Stark Recreation Center to insure their safety.
The building was reported to be free of all carbon monoxide as of 3 p.m. The investigation of this incident is crucial, as the residence hall is owned by the state. The state fire marshal may be brought in to aid in testing the boiler. Testing and investigations will continue into Wednesday.
Safety is a priority at the W, and Anika Perkins, Interim Executive Director for University Relations, stressed the importance of having a plan when any type of threat emerges. Immediately after the incident occurred, Perkins sent out an email to students to alert them of the issue and to urge them to report any signs of possible sickness from the gas leak.
“Throughout the year, we make it a point to exercise those plans and just to make sure that everyone is on the same page and that we’re doing what we need to do to make sure that students, faculty, staff, everybody is safe,” said Perkins.
The university has made temporary housing arrangements for students until the building is deemed safe.