Explosion at UC Berkeley campus creates state of emergency

An explosion at the UC Berkeley campus around 6 p.m. on Sept. 30 prompted officials to declare a state of emergency and ordered an evacuation of the campus.

According to The Daily Californian, the explosion was related to vandalism on campus. Vandals attempted to steal copper grounding wire from an electrical system and the damage was greater than initially discovered. The explosion occurred as engineers attempted to restore power after a campus-wide power outage around 4:45 p.m. The explosion originated in an underground vault near California Hall, which is at the center of campus.

Additionally, an ammonia leak in Latimer Hall was contained by the Berkeley Fire Department around 6:20 p.m. Officials advised people to evacuate campus and stay away from manholes.

At a press conference in the evening on Sept. 30, campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof said  “We’re in uncharted territory, we’ve never seen anything like this before.”

The UC Berkeley Public Affairs website states that power has been restored to most of campus as of 11:30 a.m but many classes in the affected buildings have been cancelled.

— Paayal Zaveri

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