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Facilities workers attempted to clean up the water after the lobby of Harrison College House flooded.

Credit: Chase Sutton

Several residents in Harrison College House said they were instructed to evacuate the building because of a broken pipe Monday night.

At around 7:15 p.m., students said they heard an announcement over the PA system informing them there was an emergency and to stay in the stairwells. Multiple students reported that the hallways smelled like gas.

Several AlliedBarton security guards said the evacuation was caused by a pipe that burst in the vestibule, resulting in the flood.

Students began returning to their rooms at around 7:45 p.m. About 20 minutes later, facilities workers were cleaning up the flood in the lobby. Students said they heard security guards stating that the sprinkler in the lobby had broken, causing water to spill out of the building and into the street. 

“I was doing my chemistry homework when I heard the fire alarm go off,” College sophomore and Harrison resident Preethi Kumaran said. 

Kumaran added that she saw Penn Police surrounding the building. “At first we thought it was fire-related," she said.

Kumaran added that Harrison resident advisors and graduate associates instructed them to leave the building. Multiple students walked to the lobbies of Rodin and Harnwell College Houses to stay warm.

"The alarm stopped halfway through, when we were in the stairwell," she said. 

Wharton junior Diana Lu, who is also a Harrison resident, said she heard Penn Police officers in the building stating that the water in the lobby was turning into ice during the evacuation. 

Facilities and Residential Services and the Division of Public Safety did not respond to immediate requests for comment.

Senior Multimedia Editor Chase Sutton and Staff Reporter Chris Doyle contributed reporting. 

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