MCLA Towers Evacuated For Hazmat Incident

Source: By Tammy Daniels iBerkshires.com

A hazmat team prepares to enter the MCLA towers on Saturday night after a strong smell forced the dormitory to be evacuated.

A hazmat team prepares to enter the MCLA towers on Saturday night after a strong smell forced the dormitory to be evacuated. – iberkshires.com

 

 

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshire Towers dormitory at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts was evacuated early Saturday evening because of a strange odor.

Students on the fifth floor of Tower A complained of an unidentifiable smell and throat irritation.

The towers were closed for more than three hours until the regional hazardous materials team could assess the situation. At 8:30, the team was in the building doing an assessment and a second hazmat vehicle arrived.

“They are going to monitor and check for different types of chemicals,” said Fire Chief Stephen Meranti. “There’s not much for chemicals – there is no refrigeration, no air conditioning, no aerosol.”

Several students said they were informed to the gather in the towers’ lobby, then left the building when the alarms went off. “Students detected a smell at about 5:30 and notified the Fire Department,” said James Stakenas, vice president of administration and finance. “The students were evacuated to Venable Hall.”

Some 27 students who exhibited symptoms were being separated for further assessment. North Adams Ambulance Service stationed an ambulance near the gym. Also on scene is the mobile incident command vehicle, North Adams firefighters and police, campus police, and the North Adams Ambulance rehab trailer.

Church Street continues to be closed between Blackinton and Hoosac Hall

Training on Odor Complaint and Scents

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