No one hurt as ceiling collapses in Duke University classroom

From staff reportsFebruary 19, 2014 

— A group of Duke University students and their instructor evacuated a classroom on East Campus Wednesday afternoon just before the sub-ceiling of the classroom they were in collapsed.

Duke Today, a daily online newspaper that serves the university community, reported that classroom 202 on the second floor of the West Building has been closed until further notice.

According to preliminary reports, officials are looking into whether a drop down acoustical ceiling collapsed, taking with it some of the original plaster ceiling.

"A structural engineer will evaluate the entire building to assess and determine if there are any other vulnerabilities," said Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president for Administration and Duke's Emergency Coordinator. "The building will be closed until we it can be determined to be safe."

When they heard sounds coming from the ceiling, the class that was meeting in the room evacuated called Facilities.

"When (the mechanic) got here, he was at the edge of the room and started hearing a cracking noise and stepped out of the room and watched the ceiling come down," said Tom Trabert, director of Facility Operations.

Cavanaugh said that all classes in the building will be rescheduled or relocated until the building reopens.

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