Gas leak outside of Batten boiler room

A meter inspector on a scheduled maintenance visit found a gas leak outside of the Jane P. Batten Student Center (Batten) boiler room on Nov. 15.

Two trucks and several repairmen blocked off the side of the building by the leak as they worked to fix the issue the evening of Nov. 15.

The main boiler room in Batten provides hot water and heat to the campus. Though natural gas is non-toxic in small amounts, prolonged exposure can have dire results. Virginia Natural Gas warns that overexposure can result in asphyxiation and risk of ignition near sparks from lighters, cigarettes and telephones within the area of the leak.

Victor Dorsey, lieutenant of Virginia Wesleyan College’s security department, supervised the repairs. Dorsey said that the leak was found by a meter inspector earlier that day during scheduled maintenance. The inspector called his mechanical supervisor to confirm the leak who, upon inspection, confirmed the leak and called the final repair crew.

The leak was repaired the same day it was officially reported but the leak may have been present long before the inspection.

“People could smell it. They’ve been smelling it for like a month or so,” Dorsey said.

Miranda Fein

(Photo: Anthony Dellamura | Marlin Chronicle)