Columbia Fire Department and University of South Carolina Police Department arrive on scene after students evacuate Horizon 1 building. (Photo by Dylan Ortuno)

A gas leak forced the evacuation of the Horizon 1 building on the University of South Carolina campus Tuesday morning.

USC’s electronic Carolina Alert system notified students, faculty and staff of road closures at the corner of Blossom and South Main streets at 10:57 a.m. The location is across Blossom Street from the Adesso condo tower.

“There was an ammonia leak in the building,” Columbia Fire Department spokesperson Mike DeSumma said.

Ammonia escaped from a cylinder as a student was moving it, DeSumma said. But students “had already contained the leak by shutting off the valve” when firefighters arrived.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, high levels of ammonia can cause lung damage or even death.

People who evacuated said they left the building when a gas-leak alarm sounded. City firefighters and USC police officers automatically responded to the alarm.

DeSumma confirmed that the leak had dissipated and that there were no injuries.

A follow-up Carolina Alert, sent at 11:25 a.m., said the area was clear and the response had ended.

Students and faculty evacuated the Horizon 1 building as a result of the ammonia leak. (Photo by Dylan Ortuno)

Columbia Fire Department and University of South Carolina Police Department stationed outside Horizon 1 building. (Photo by Dylan Ortuno) 


Jack Veltri

Jack Veltri

Veltri is a senior journalism student at the University of South Carolina. Outside the classroom, he interns at Gamecock Central, covering athletics. He spent three years at the student-run newspaper, The Daily Gamecock, covering baseball and softball and serving as sports editor. In his free time, he likes to work out and watch anything Star Wars and Marvel related.

Dylan Ortuno

Dylan Ortuno

Ortuno is a senior journalism major and computer science minor at the University of South Carolina. He is the editor in chief of the Gaming Collegian, a gaming and technology-focused multimedia club on campus. He is also a sports writer for The Daily Gamecock focused on club sports. Ortuno has covered a variety of topics ranging from trading card shops to how USC’s Cocky’s anthropomorphic body would perform as an athlete.