Gas line repairs complete at Topeka Correctional Facility

Published: Nov. 22, 2019 at 2:07 PM CST
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A gas line is fixed, and inmates back to their normal areas at Topeka Correctional Facility.

The facility moved 466 of its 905 inmates to temporary housing Tuesday night. After someone reported smelling a gas odor, the Kansas Dept. of Corrections says Kansas Gas Service found a leaking gas line.

Crews did initial repairs, but the line failed pressure tests, revealing the need for additional work. Repairs finished Thursday night.

KDOC said inmates stayed in the gymnasium, classrooms, and other areas during the process. Topeka Correctional officials cancelled planned training and took other steps to add extra staff in the temporary housing areas.

“The last two days have been challenging for the women at TCF, our staff, and the crews at Kansas Gas Service and P1 Group," said Acting Secretary Jeff Zmuda. “I so appreciate the teamwork demonstrated by everyone involved in restoring service at TCF.”

Corrections officials say, while an exact cause for the leak is not known, it was likely due to delayed maintenance on a more than 30-year-old heating system. In a statement, KDOC said issues with aging infrastructure are "common place across the Kansas prison system. "

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