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UEA Library evacuated after water leak

Happy new year everyone!

UEA Library has been evacuated this afternoon after a water leak and a collapsed ceiling.

Students were told to leave all their belongings in the library at around 1:30pm, as UEA Estate's team worked to clear up the damage.

MA International Development student, Rob Thurbon told The Norwich Tab: "The alarm went off and I didn't think it was a real one until everyone started getting up and leaving.

"I left my glasses, books and lunch inside as I left, thinking that it wouldn't be too long before we could come back in. Walking outside from floor 0, you could smell something burning – not a wood burning smell but the smell of burning hair or fabric.

"Then I saw the water leaking and the collapsed roof panel on the floor directly above the exit gate to the library and realised it was actually something serious.

"We are now back in the library but it was a good two hours before we were allowed to enter again. Regardless, it's good that nobody was hurt and I am pretty impressed with how quickly the Estates and library staff sorted the situation out. Oh UEA, what a wonderful way to start 2019!"

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That's not very Christmassy

MA student, Bella Pattinson, who was also in the library when it was evacuated, said: "We got evacuated at 1:30pm, I kept going back and asking if we’d be allowed back in and every 20 minutes they said it’d be another 20 minutes (it soon became apparent they had no idea what they were talking about).

"They offered no help and attempted to reassure me that at least my laptop wouldn’t be stolen because the building had been evacuated, that’s not much of a comfort when you have 10,000 words due in less than two weeks.

Students were told they could not go back in to retrieve their items until the damage was cleared, with Bella adding: "I can’t really see why we can’t enter the way we left and grab our things which are three stories above the flooding."

UEA Estates are currently in the process of cleaning up the damage with UEA Library saying in their latest tweet: "We have just been told that it should be another 30 minutes and we the we will be able to let people back into the library. Again, apologies for the time taken but we have to ensure the building is safe."

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Rob Thurbon captured the ceiling collapsing

Rob Klim, MA International Development and Media student, told us: "The cause was a water pipe just above the ceiling panel burst and bought the roof down. There was flooding all inside the library entrance desk, along the inside of floor 0 and it was creeping towards the stairs and the lifts."

Heather Wells, Head of User Services in the UEA Library, told The Norwich Tab: “The library was closed for around two hours today as a precaution, following a water leak. Our estates and security teams have resolved the issue and people are now allowed back into the building.”

Image credits: Hannah Whaley, Rob Thurbon and Gregory Romer