Gas Line Ruptured On Ole Miss Campus During Construction

This morning, a ‘Reb Alert’ message was sent out indicating a gas line had been ruptured during construction of the new STEM building on All-American Drive. Shoemaker Hall was immediately evacuated, and the leak was fixed. The response was prompt, and the line was capped within 30 minutes, according to emergency management coordinator, Barbara Russo. 

“We’re such a mishmash of stuff as it sprouts up around, so it’s just kind of ‘un-luck of the draw’ for the guy who hit it,” Russo said. “They were right on it, so as soon as they hit it, they knew. The guys came in and clamped it, and it was back to business as usual within 30 minutes.”

The Oxford Fire Department was dispatched, and protocol was followed until the scene was deemed safe. Students were able to reenter the building, and construction was cleared to resume. 

Russo didn’t want to make light of a gas line busting but noted that these kinds of instances are bound to happen on a campus that is as old as The University of Mississippi. 

“Our infrastructure out here is so old that inevitably you’re going to come across some old lines that were laid, and that’s probably what happened today,” Russo said. 

As long as they are attended to quickly, as was done today, the leaks don’t pose a threat to the safety of anyone on campus.

Steven Gagliano is a writer for He can be reached at

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