After manhole explosions near U, Met Council warns not to flush gas down the toilet

1 July 2022

MINNEAPOLIS — Officials have issued a warning about what people can dump in the sewer, after several explosions forced evacuations near the University of Minnesota.

The Metropolitan Council says it thinks someone released gasoline into the system.

“It is a stark reminder that the only thing that should go down the sewer besides human waste is toilet paper,” the agency said Friday. “The Metropolitan Council, and its Environmental Services division, is warning residents, businesses, and industries not to put gas or other flammable materials down the sewer.”

Around 2:45 p.m. Thursday, fire crews were called to a fraternity house for a fire in the basement. As they put that out, reports came in of manhole covers being blown out of the street, indicating a possible gasoline spill in the sewer line.

That triggered evacuations at residence halls, fraternities as well as a local daycare and YMCA. 

Centerpoint Energy told WCCO their crews found no natural gas leaks.

People in the area were advised to continue to stay aware and call 911 if they smell gas.

No one was hurt.

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