UPDATE: Three UT students arrested for causing Clement Hall pipe burst
UPDATE: UT Police investigators have arrested three UT students on felony vandalism charges in connection to the Clement Hall pipe burst that caused the evacuation of the building and damages over the weekend.
John Robert Reed, 19, Aaron Edward Griesmer, 18, and Thomas Harvey Bellet, 18 were charged with felony vandalism Wednesday. They were transported to the Knox County Detention Facility for booking. Griesmer and Reed were released early Thursday on $5,000 bond. Bellet was still in custody on a $5,000 bond as of Thursday afternoon.
The students told UTPD investigators that they were punching ceiling tiles in the hallway outside their suite. The three are suitemates on the seventh floor of Clement Hall.
According to the arrest warrant, one of the punched out ceiling tiles bent a metal piece of the false ceiling upwards and hit the piping which caused it to burst. The water flowed for approximately 20 minutes at approximately 100 gallons a minute.
The damage, at this point, is still rolling as costs are still being incurred by the university. The last known estimate was $2 million, the warrant said.
PREVIOUS STORY: Clement Hall was evacuated after a pipe burst on the seventh floor from, what UT is calling, vandalism to the hallway ceiling on that floor.
The university said a significant amount of water spread from the seventh floor to the floors below, including closets with electrical equipment.
There is currently no power in the north tower of Clement Hall, which houses approximately 400 residents, according to UT.
Students have posted about the flooding on Snapchat. One post said students evacuated the hall around 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning.
Clement residents have been relocated to Strong Hall right now, and the United Residence Hall council is bringing them food.