Update: U of M buildings given all-clear after chemical odor prompts evacuations


Two buildings on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota were evacuated for a short time Thursday morning due to reports of a chemical odor.

The university initially sent out an alert saying officials were investigating a chemical odor at Kolthoff Hall (pictured), located at 225 Pleasant Street SE, and then sent an update around 8 a.m. saying it was also evacuating Smith Hall, located next door.

Minneapolis fire officials tweeted they were investigating a possible chemical leak on the sixth floor of Kolthoff Hall, but it was unknown what the chemical was.

University spokesman Tim Busse told the Star Tribune the university was notified of the odor just after 7 a.m., and when the odor "started to drift" Smith Hall was then evacuated.

Students were asked to stay away from the area for about an hour Thursday morning.

Just after 8:30 a.m., the fire department gave the all-clear.

Kolthoff Hall houses classrooms, while Smith Hall is home to both classrooms and the chemistry department.

Classes in the buildings don't start until 8 a.m., and they were back open for normal operations before 9 a.m., the university said in an alert.

Some tweets from Thursday morning during the evacuation:

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