Workers flee fumes at building in city

April 28, 1992|By Joan Jacobson and Peter Jensen | Joan Jacobson and Peter Jensen,Staff Writers

The Charles L. Benton Jr. Building remained closed today after gasoline fumes wafted from the basement of the downtown building that houses 1,200 city employees.

Yesterday, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke sent workers home at noon after many complained of the fumes at the building at 417 E. Fayette St.

Investigators believe the fumes may have been forced into the building by nearby construction of the Metro extension from Charles Center to Johns Hopkins Hospital.

A spokesman for the state Department of the Environment said the fumes, identified as "weathered gasoline," are trapped below the basement.

Compressed air used to keep ground water out a subway tunnel under the north side of Baltimore Street probably is leaking and forcing the fumes into nearby buildings, including the Benton Building, said officials familiar with the project.

Workers continued on administrative leave today with pay.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.