High winds and heavy rain damaged a ventilation stack weighing at least 500 lbs on top of the Agriculture Biotechnology Lab (ABL) at the University of Connecticut, resulting in a quick evacuation this morning, according to UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz.

An announcement was sent via UConnALERT stating, “Due to damage from high wind, occupants of the Agriculture Biotechnology Lab (ABL) must immediately exit the building…The building will be closed at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 2 until further notice.”

Photo: Stephanie Reitz

The large ventilation stack was damaged, pushing it onto the stack next to it which creates a possibility of the stack falling, therefore being a danger to anyone nearby, according to Reitz.

Reitz said, “The building is structurally safe and poses no danger to those who have been inside, but it must be closed due to fire codes because the exits are blocked as part of the emergency response.”

The entrances around the ABL were blocked for the fire and police perimeter in the area, Reitz said.

No injuries have been reported, according to Reitz, and repairs will begin once the weather conditions permit.

The notice from UConnALERT was sent out at around 9:40 a.m.

The Dairy Bar located near the building took no damage and will operate on its regular schedule, Reitz said.

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