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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Gas Leak Causes Lock Down of Monroe County Corrections in Bloomigton

MOROE COUNTY - SEPTEMBER 21, 2021 - Gas Line Break at Monroe County Jail causing Lock Down and evacuation plan on standby.

Photo: Center Point Energy works to shut off gas line

On Wednesday, September 20, 2023 at approximately 3:42 PM, ASI maintenance crew had

removed a toilet in the Monroe County Jail. After exiting the building and placing the toilet outside, the inlet valve for a gas line into the Monroe County Correctional Center was struck. As a result, this caused a gas leak outside the building.

Photo: The area on the building where inlet vavle was hit and broken by toilet

Sheriff Marte` immediately placed the inmate population on lockdown, called the Bloomington City Fire Department and all involved utilities to include Centerpoint Energy. Along with the lock down, Sheriff Marte` immediately stopped use of all gas appliances within the Monroe County Correctional Center.

Photo: The gas line that was broken

The Bloomington City Fire Department arrived at 3:47 PM and were escorted into the facility by correction staff. During this time, they checked the buildings air quality levels every 15 minutes and checked to ensure there was not an additional gas leak within the building.

Photo: Pizzas were delivered to provide evening meal

While BFD was inside the Monroe County Correctional Center, IU Health Bloomington

Hospital EMS personnel and BFD sent additional EMS personnel to check blood pressure and CO2 reading on anyone feeling the effects of the gas leak. BFD continued to monitor the air quality to ensure they stayed below non explosive level.

Sheriff Marte` with command staff started our short term evacuation plan by placing all Merit

Deputies (38), Reserves (13), and all Correctional Staff (75) on standby. Sheriff Marte` re-arranged the evening meal to be catered in for our inmates by ordering pizza from various local pizza places for our 200 inmate population.

Operations remained normal other than temperarly changing the entrance for

inmate intake.

At 06:07 PM, BFD advised the levels are still decreasing and it remained safe to have the

inmates and staff members on site, thus negating the need to activate our short term evacuation plan.

Repairs were started by digging up the location for the shut off valve at 06:07 PM.

At 07:12 PM, the gas line leak was stopped by Centerpoint Energy.

We are very thankful for the Bloomington City Fire Department’s rapid and professional response.

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