Sludge Leak, Power Outage Force Evacuations at NYU

'It sounded like rain falling down and then this black liquid just came seeping from the ceiling and it smelled like human feces'

A pipe leak and a power outage at NYU forced an evacuation of at least two buildings on the campus Tuesday, though university officials say the problems were not related.  

Video of the leak inside one of the classrooms at Bobst Library was posted to Twitter by a student and shows black gunk dripping from the ceiling. 

The student named Conor told NBC 4 New York it was a disgusting scene. 

"We were just sitting in class and all of a sudden there was a whirring coming from above the ceiling, and then it sounded like rain falling down," he said.

"Then this black liquid just came seeping from the ceiling and it smelled like human feces, and it was just really gross," he continued. "We all had to run out of the room, and we went to a different classroom to continue, and then the whole power went out and we all had to run out and evacuate." 

"It wasn't great. It smelled horrible. And it got on some kids' desks, and it was gross so we all just wanted to leave," said Conor. 

NYU spokesman Matt Nagel said the leak appeared to come from a clogged drain, but it was not a sewage drain. The liquid was stagnant water.

Meanwhile, both Bobst Library and Tisch Hall were evacuated due to a separate power outage caused by a malfunction in the electrical system that tripped a circuit breaker, Nagel said.

Students were seen waiting outside both buildings waiting to get back in, but others were pressed to finish papers. 

"It's dark, no electricity, no water, no Wi-Fi. There's almost nobody here now," said Blair Li, who was on her way back home to finish her work. 

Contact Us