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Heat, hot water could return to campus Sunday

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Kayla Bunge
April 18, 2008
— Heat and hot water could return to the UW-Whitewater campus as early as Sunday, university spokeswoman Sara Kuhl said.

A boiler explosion Wednesday knocked out the campusí steam service.


Officials continue to investigate the cause of the explosion that happened around noon Wednesday at the power plant on the north side of the campus. While an official cause of the explosion has not been determined, no foul play is suspected.


Contractors were performing routine maintenance on the backup boiler as part of a switch from natural gas to fuel oil, said Greg Swanson, director of facilities planning and management. Pressure built up in the fuel injectors and released fuel into the burner, which likely caused the explosion, he said.


Officials inspected the power plant Thursday. Kuhl could not provide any information about the outcome of the inspection.


The blast shook loose some asbestos that insulated the boiler, Swanson said, and until it is removed, the asbestos has the potential to become airborne.


Esker Dining Hall, which is next to the power plant, was evacuated as a precaution. Officials hope to reopen the dining hall Saturday. In the meantime, the university has extended the hours of service at Drumlin Dining Hall and the James R. Connor University Center.


Seven workers were inside the power plant at the time of the explosion. One worker suffered a scraped knee. No other injuries were reported.



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