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South Lanarkshire College Evacuated
The college in East Kilbride was evacuated and closed for the day due to a gas leak caused by building works.
All classes cancelled
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said crews were called to South Lanarkshire College at about 09:30. Around 1,300 students and staff were inside the building at the time and were moved to a safe area. A 50 metre cordon was set up and members of the public living nearby where asked to remain indoors with windows closed whilst the incident was ongoing.
A statement on the college's website said: "The building will not open today for general access. The nursery has been relocated to The James Watt Building in the Scottish Enterprise Technology Park. Remaining staff and students have relocated to the James Watt and the Nasmyth buildings in the Technology Park. Afternoon and evening classes are cancelled. Interviews, assessments and exams are cancelled. Please don't worry, we'll make alternative arrangements."
Panicked students said they were initially de-camped to the courtyard before emergency services moved them further back from the building.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "At around 9.50am police and emergency services received reports of a gas leak on College Way, East Kilbride.
"The gas leak was immediately identified and repairs will shortly be underway. As a precautionary measure to help keep people safe, around 1300 students where relocated to the John Wright Centre in East Kilbride. A number of road closures where set up to facilitate access to the scene. The A725 Strathaven Road, Burniehill Roundabout and Torrance Roundabout.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s DIM (Detection and Identification Monitoring) vehicle and its Environmental Protection Unit were also at the scene along with a specialist from the service’s scientific advisory service.
The college later released a further statement confirming arrangements ahead of it re-opening on Thursday, it said: "The College will remain closed to staff and students on Wednesday 27th of May 2015 as a precaution. The nursery will also remain closed on Wednesday 27th of May. Cars remaining in the car park can be collected tonight until 8pm and tomorrow from 6am until 4:30pm. There will be no access to the building tonight. Students who need to collect belongings from the building can do so on Wednesday 27th of May 2015 between 8:45am and 4:30pm. Construction apprentices should report to their employer on Wednesday 27th of May. The College will re-open on Thursday 28th of May."
Angus Allan, deputy principal at South Lanarkshire College said: “We evacuated the campus as a precaution after a gas leak yesterday morning.
“The building was temporarily closed and all students and staff were safely evacuated before Scottish Gas Networks engineers and other emergency services were on site.
“Students and staff were regularly kept up to date with what was happening.
“Our primary concern is our students’ safety and where it was safe to do so, students were advised to return home as all evening and afternoon classes were cancelled.
“Some students were temporarily decanted to the James Watt and other building in the nearby Technology Park.”
A spokeswoman for Scottish Gas Networks said: “One of our gas mains in College Way, East Kilbride was damaged by a third-party contractor working in the area.
“ We were alerted at approximately 9.30am and quickly attended the site in our capacity as the gas emergency service in Scotland. South Lanarkshire College was evacuated in advance of our arrival on site. Our engineers were on site working to repair the damage as quickly as possible. We are sorry for any inconvenience this incident may have caused after our network was damaged and we thank everyone for their patience while we carry out our repairs.”