Accident shuts down gas at Bundy Campus

On Friday March 18th at approximately 12 p.m., an automobile traveling on Bundy Drive on the northeast side of SMC's Bundy campus veered off the road and struck an above ground gas meter and piping feeding into the campus' main building, cutting off hot water and heating to the entire building. A notice put out by Bruce Wyban, mechanical systems and energy management supervisor for Santa Monica College, alerted faculty that measures are being taken to repair the lines as quickly as possible.

Nothing yet is known about the specific circumstances surrounding the accident; Santa Monica and West Los Angeles Police and Fire Departments have been unable to comment or provide any information as of yet.

Southern California Gas Company arrived at the scene of the accident at 12 p.m. and completed their emergency repairs by shortly after the street reopened at 2 p.m. According to Raul Gordillo, a spokesperson for the utilities company, the damages were "nothing major," but due to the above ground meter being "mangled," the utilities company will only be able to replace the meter once SMC has repaired their house line.  

Speaking to Bruce Wyban, it became clear that the repairs could take an indefinite amount of time. Wyban hopes to get started by Monday the 21st , but stresses that because of a very large purchasing process which requires specificity due to tax dollars being spent, the gas lines will most likely not be operating for some time.

Additionally, the job is too large for SMC to handle on an emergency basis by in-house staff; the Southern California Gas Company will have to do their own independent assessment to ascertain the extent of the damage. Wyban said that an underground excavation will most likely have to be completed before any formal repairs can be done, in order to establish if there has been any significant damage to the underground piping.

"We have to make sure that the safety and integrity of the gas feed system is intact," said Wyban. It is not yet known how this will affect SMC students in the interim, beyond a lack of hot water and heating.