First responders answered a call about a gas leak at Panda Express in the Courtyard dining hall at 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 12.
According to Jeffery Marshall, residential district manager of Aramark, the gas leak occurred when the burners at Panda Express were being replaced. One new burner was not attached securely with Teflon tape causing some of the gas to leak.
A student worker turned on the burner which created a small flame to flare up. The worker immediately put out the flame using a fire extinguisher and called the fire department. No one was injured by the flame.
That night, and the following day, Panda Express was shut down for inspection and repairs. Freshens stayed open longer in its place.
Fire marshal Chris Moore inspected Panda Express that night and discovered the leak. He returned the next day after repairs to approve the restaurant’s reopening.
“We take safety seriously,” said Marshall. He assured The Western Carolinian that an incident report was filed when the event happened.
“Everything was triple checked before we started operations so no one would possibly get hurt again,” said Isabella Senatore, campus dining’s marketing manager.
According to student worker, Emma Sellers, who worked that night. Workers were startled by the incident, but management responded immediately and appropriately.