Explosion rocks central campus

No injuries or damage were reported after an explosion on the corner of Rose Lane and Linden Walk early Saturday morning, said Major Daniel Bellot of the Lexington Fire Department.

The exact cause of the blast was unknown as of 2 a.m. Saturday, but the Fire Department indicated that a buildup of flammable material near a storm drain somehow ignited, UK spokesman Jay Blanton said.

Fire officials left the scene at about 2 a.m.

Lexington Fire Department spokesman Joe Best said on Monday that the investigators found old gas that had leaked from heavy equipment and pooled beside the drain and some leaves.

The leaves and vapor ignited and caused the explosion, Best said.

The storm drains did not have flammable material in them and were cleared by the investigators, Best said.

“We checked the area … and have not been able to find anything,” Bellot said.

Lexington Herald-Leader reporter Justin Madden said he heard the explosion from about a mile away, near the corner of Main Street and Ashland Avenue.

Kentucky Kernel photographer Adam Pennavaria also heard the blast while about a half block away on Rose Lane.

The intersection is located near the Stuckert Career Center and the Singletary Center for the Arts on Central campus.

The UK Alert system sent out calls and text messages at about 1:20 a.m. advising students to avoid the area. At about 1:45 a.m., UK Alert sent messages saying the emergency had passed.