KOMU 8 News building evacuated due to gas odor; all clear issued

3 months 1 day 11 hours ago Tuesday, November 19 2019 Nov 19, 2019 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 6:26:00 PM CST November 19, 2019 in News
By: Spencer Humphrey & Melody Cox, KOMU 8 Digital Producers

COLUMBIA - A 911 dispatcher ordered all employees to evacuate the KOMU 8 News building on Highway 63 after a strong odor of natural gas inside Tuesday evening.

Employees observed a very strong odor of natural gas throughout the newsroom and main studio around 5:35 p.m.

More than 20 people working at the time evacuated the building upon notifying Ameren and the Columbia Fire Department. At that time they also observed the smell in the building's parking lot.

MUPD and EMTs arrived around 5:50 p.m. The Columbia Fire Department arrived just after 6. 

KOMU 8 News at Six was preempted until firefighters gave employees the all clear around 6:10 p.m.

Firefighters said they had received several reports of a strong natural gas odor in the area around the same time.

KOMU 8 contacted Ameren about the odor.

An Ameren spokesman said the company investigated every call Tuesday night, and it didn't find any indication of a gas leak.

"All areas have been cleared and deemed safe," Bryan Daniels, Ameren spokesman, said. "Safety is the company's number one concern."

Daniels said the company will continue to monitor the situation if necessary.

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