Miami says more about dangerous gas leak in dormitories



“We understand the trust you place in us, as well as our responsibility, to provide safe residential experiences. What happened at Hillcrest Hall violated that trust and fell short of the standards we set at the University of Miami. We deeply regret that this has happened, ”school officials said.

“Under normal circumstances, our buildings are designed to have positive pressure to prevent outside air from being unintentionally drawn into the building. Unfortunately, an air handler malfunctioned at Hillcrest Hall earlier today. This resulted in negative pressure in the south wing of the building, allowing outside air to be drawn into the building through small duct holes near where the carbon monoxide from a water heater was. evacuated to the outside.

“In addition, the winds trapped the air containing carbon monoxide near the side of the building rather than allowing it to disperse. Meanwhile, a fan coil located near where the carbon monoxide entered the building was operating intermittently due to the drop in temperature, ”officials said.

“The enclosure of this unit also allowed carbon monoxide to travel from the lower level where it entered to the second and third floors of Hillcrest Hall. While these factors are unlikely to recur, we take every precaution to ensure the safety of our community on campus and have checked all of our other campus buildings to determine if there is a similar risk. “

Miami officials said no similar issues were found in other buildings.

The school’s residential and other buildings comply with state building and fire codes, they said.

But they added: “Under state building and fire codes, if there is no carbon monoxide produced in a building OR if a source of carbon monoxide is sealed and vented directly to the building. outdoors without entering the dormitories, (carbon monoxide) monitors are not required. Our buildings are heated by a central (electric) so that no carbon monoxide is created by the heating and cooling system of the buildings. The only source of carbon monoxide is the aforementioned water heaters in some buildings, which are sealed and vented directly to the outdoors.

Students relocated to Hillcrest will receive a $ 250 credit on their housing bill for the spring semester, officials said.

“We fully intend to address the issues identified at the Hillcrest Hall event and prevent the possibility of something similar from happening again,” officials said.


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