ISU Gas Leak

A construction crew struck an underground natural gas line near the Red Hill dorm building on the Idaho State University campus in Pocatello on Monday afternoon. The incident resulted in approximately 50 people being evacuated from the building.

POCATELLO — Approximately 50 people were evacuated from an Idaho State University dorm building Monday afternoon after an excavation crew struck an underground natural gas line.

ISU notified its campus community of the gas leak near the Red Hill dorm building on Red Hill Road via its emergency alert system around 3:09 p.m. Monday.

The Pocatello Fire Department said an excavation company ISU contracted to repave a parking lot near the student dorm building struck a 2-inch gas line when tearing up the old asphalt.

ISU said the evacuation of the building was a precautionary measure and asked people to stay clear of the area until responding emergency personnel could shut off the gas.

The Pocatello Fire Department determined the area near the building was safe and allowed people back into the building around 3:47 p.m.

The incident resulted in no injuries, no explosions and no additional property damage other than the ruptured gas line, the fire department said.

Travis Smith, the assistant chief of the Pocatello Fire Department, said it is crucial for contractors and builders to call 811 or local utility companies before digging more than one inch under the soil.

Smith said there is no longer any threat to public safety and ISU has resumed normal operations.

Reporter Shelbie Harris can be reached at 208-239-3525. Follow him on Twitter: @shelbietharris.