RACHELE BUTTON


On Monday morning, library-going students would have found their visit a little more
eventful than usual after being evacuated at around 09:00 due to a suspected gas leak.
Upon arriving at the library that morning, staff were made aware of a triggered alarm in the
Special Collections section. This alarm alerted staff to a potential gas leakage from the
Carbon Dioxide canisters which are part of the fire suppression system.

Although investigations by the university have not been finalised, yesterday afternoon Die
Matie received a comment from Susan van der Merwe, Director of Communication and
Stakeholder Relations, stating that “The possible power surge after the 02:00-04:30 load
shedding period caused the gas discharge.”

Van der Merwe added, “The fact that the alarm activated and that precautions could be
taken, indicate that the systems worked as planned.  The safety of staff and students was
not at risk at any time.” Moreover, students were informed about the evacuation and
library closure via social media and the library later reopened at 14:00. Library goers can
expect the Special Collections area to remain closed until further notice.