On Tuesday morning, the fire department was called to the University of Alberta after a potentially deadly chemical was released in a student residence leaving one student unconscious. The student later died. Although no confirmation has been made, there have been reports that the chemical was hydrogen sulphide. The incident occurred in the HUB Mall, a building that houses shops and student residences.
After a suspicious smell raised concerns of a gas leak, the university put into practice an emergency alert system that was established just a few months ago. According to a release from the school, “The areas of HUB Mall and Rutherford Library were evacuated immediately–alarms sounded and the university’s emergency response system alerted people via telephone, email and text messages, and Campus Security Services personnel conducted evacuation procedures.” That was at approximately 10:15am.
When fire officials arrived they downgraded the alert and issued a “stay in shelter” order so that students and staff in the HUB and library buildings would stay put. There was concern the gas was in the hallways. Shortly after noon, both the HUB building and library were declared safe.
It is believed that the leak originated from the room where the student was found dead.