Buildings Closed, Classes Cancelled In Aftermath Of UC Berkeley Explosion

Eleven buildings on the University of California at Berkeley campus that remain without power this morning following an explosion Monday evening will not hold classes today, UC Berkeley officials said.

Classes and events that were scheduled to meet in Alumni House, Bancroft Library, California Hall, Central Heating Plant, Doe Library, Durant Hall, Dwinelle Hall, Dwinelle Annex, Edwards Track (East and West areas), Haas Pavilion and EH&S Facility, will not be held today, according to university officials.

Classes in other campus buildings will take place as regularly scheduled, officials said.

Students are advised to check with their academic departments for more information about rescheduling of classes and other events.

Employees who work in buildings that are still without power this morning should check in with their supervisors about reporting to work today.

The campus wide power outage began at about 4:40 p.m. on Monday, university officials said.

Monday evening classes were canceled and all labs were shut down due to the outage.

The power system failure was followed by an underground explosion and fire in an underground steam tunnel between California and Durant halls at about 6:40 p.m. that shrouded the campus in smoke, university officials said.

The explosion led to a call for an evacuation of campus. The fire was extinguished by 8:15 p.m., university officials said.

One student sustained minor injuries, was transported to a medical facility and later released, according to university officials.

During the outage, about 20 people were stuck in elevators in affected buildings, but all were freed by 8:30 p.m., according to university officials.

Crews are working to restore power across campus and will update the community via the campus web site, as well as via Facebook and Twitter, according to university officials.

An investigation is underway into the circumstances that led to the outage and explosion. The campus will be updated with any findings, university officials said.

Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News

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