Clinic vacated in gas leak

When they heard about a gas leak at MUSC's Dental Clinic on Wednesday Saeko Otsuka and her children Hinako, 5, (center) and Shunyo, 2, (right) came to watch the fire department at work from their apartment building stairwell. Mrs. Otsuka said the children

Wade Spees

A number of employees were evacuated from the Dental Clinic building at Medical University of South Carolina on Wednesday when a propane tank on the third floor sprang a leak, said Mark Ruppel, public information officer for the Charleston Fire Department.

Firefighters were called to the building at 29 Bee St. at 3:59 p.m., Ruppel said. Working with MUSC employees, firefighters shut off the supply line to the leaking tank and went through the building with instruments to measure propane levels.

No one was injured and no property was damaged, said Heather Woolwine, MUSC's media relations director.

A parking lot on Bee Street was backed up with people trying to leave. They were blocked inside the lot by firefighting equipment.

Many of the employees who were evacuated stood outside and watched the firefighters.

A number of them were taking pictures with cell phones. Some got the word that they could leave for the day.

Many employees left work early, but others had to wait to get back inside to retrieve their belongings.

Firefighters declared the building safe around 5:15 p.m. Officials from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration were on hand to make sure the building was safe, Woolwine said.