A man was arrested for crashing his car into a University of California at Berkeley residence hall this morning and causing a gas leak that forced the evacuation of roughly 230 students. The car went through the intersection of Channing Way and College Avenue before crashing into the southeast corner of the Putnam Hall residence building at 2345 College Ave. around 2:56 a.m., UC Berkeley residence spokesman Marty Takimoto said.
No one was injured in the crash, UC Berkeley police Sgt. Andrew Tucker said. The car was unattended when police arrived at the scene, he said. A gas meter was struck in the crash, causing a natural gas leak in the building and forcing the 230 mostly-first-year student residents to evacuate, Takimoto said.
As police were assisting in evacuating residents, the 21-year-old UC Berkeley student who crashed the car turned himself in to police, Tucker said. At about 3:35 a.m., PG&E shut off the building’s gas and the students were able to re-enter, Takimoto said. Takimoto said the university is working with PG&E to have the gas turned back on by the end of the day. Arrangements were made to allow students to use laundry facilities and showers in the adjacent residence halls in the interim, he said. The students, who moved in over the past few days, begin classes Thursday.
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