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International Broadcast Center Evacuated in Beijing

The International Broadcast Center in Beijing was evacuated on Wednesday when paint fumes in the ventilation system were mistaken for a gas leak, the Associated Press reported. Hundreds of people were said to be cleared from the 970,000-square-foot building while firefighters tracked down the source of the smell. Officials at the Games told the AP that the paint that created the odor had been dumped into the drainage system.

The center just opened on Tuesday, according to “China Daily,” although NBC technical staff has been in the network“s on-site studio for at least two months.

Several evacuees noted that there were no alarms, sirens or public-address system announcements--just a bunch of folks running down the hall spreading the word. Officials said a “clear” evacuation plan would be created in time for a drill July 29. The games begin Aug. 8.

The IBC is near the Beijing National Stadium, where the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the XXIX Olympiad will be held, and the Water Cube, the natatorium where the swimming events will be held.