The Monroe County Correctional Center went on lockdown and conducted an evacuation plan Wednesday following a gas leak that occurred outside the building. According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Ruben Marté immediately placed the inmate population on lockdown after the leak.
According to a Monroe County Sheriff’s office press release, a maintenance crew removed a toilet from the jail around 3:42 p.m. Wednesday and, after exiting the building and placing the toilet outside, struck the inlet valve for a gas line. The press release states this was the cause of the gas leak.
Marté placed the inmate population on lockdown and stopped use of all gas appliances in the Monroe County Correctional Center, according to the release. Marté also called the Bloomington City Fire Department, which arrived at the scene at 3:47 p.m. The release states fire department officials checked the jail’s air quality levels every 15 minutes. IU Health Bloomington Hospital and BFD also sent emergency medical service personnel to monitor potential health effects of the leak.
Marté initiated a short-term evacuation plan, placing 38 merit deputies, 13 reserve deputies and 75 correctional staffers on standby. Marté catered pizza from local pizza places for the 200 inmates’ evening meal, according to the release. All other operations remained normal.
BFD determined that the jail was safe to have inmates and staff members on site at around 6:00 p.m. and repairs began shortly afterwards.
According to the release, the gas leak was stopped by Centerpoint Energy at 7:12 p.m.