Many in Minneapolis were evacuated due to a petroleum leak in the sewage system Tuesday.
Melaine Rucker with the Minneapolis Fire Department said crews were called around 11:30 a.m. on a report of high readings of petroleum in the city's sewer system. Met Council contractors made the initial call.
Shortly thereafter, firefighters in Minneapolis responded and also confirmed the high readings. An evacuation order was made for the following areas:
- E. Hennepin Ave. to Hoover St. NE
- NE Stinson Blvd. to 33rd Ave. NE
- 18th Ave. to Elm St.
- 4th St. to University Ave.
- 14th Ave. to Oak St.
"We do not currently have a source or area the petroleum is coming from," Rucker said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
As of 2:45 p.m., the aforementioned areas have been fully evacuated. The fire department asks that anyone who smells gas to call 911. Anyone in the evacuation area is also asked to put water down drains once they're allowed to return home. That'll help flush the system, authorities said.
Crews will be monitoring as it remains unclear if there is an active threat. However, emergency response teams are working on mitigating the problem. Rucker said there is no timeframe for how long it will take to flush the system.
Rucker said it's unclear if this incident is related to the July gas issue that caused an underground explosion that blew manhole covers on the streets into the air.
She noted that the source of the petroleum leak is hard to find since it's in the sewer system.
As of 4:50 p.m., the evacuations were lifted.
This is a breaking news update. Bring Me The News' previous updates:
At 1:21 p.m., University of Minneapolis police warned people to stay out of the evacuation area as Minnesota Fire Department "considers the levels of petroleum hazardous."
The following venues in the area of 5th and Oak streets have been evacuated:
- Huntington Bank Stadium
- McNamara Arena
- Mariucci Arena
- Maturi Sports Pavilion
- Aquatic Center
- Recreation Center
- Williams Arena
This is a breaking news update. Bring Me The News' first version of the story:
A petroleum leak and gas odor has prompted an evacuation Tuesday of University of Minnesota athletic buildings.
According to an alert sent by U of M police at 11:51 a.m., Minneapolis Fire Department ordered an evacuation of Williams Arena due to a confirmed petroleum leak.
Then, at 12:01 p.m., campus police sent another alert saying Minneapolis Fire, citing a gas odor, ordered evacuations at Huntington Bank Stadium, McNamara Arena, Mariucci Arena, Maturi Sports Pavilion, Aquatic Center and the Recreation Center.
Minneapolis Fire announced at 12:19 p.m. that fire crews responded to a hazardous material call from contractors working in the sewer tunnels at 5th and Oak streets. The workers reported their gas monitor alarms sounding and a "high petroleum smell and visual of petroleum" in the sewer tunnel.
This is a developing story.