Over a hundred students, faculty and visitors found themselves trapped in the hallway through the JPL food court, shortly before noon last Thursday.
The pileup began when the only microwave in the food court, set up in the middle of the busiest part of the hallway, began to experience traffic after an incident involving a student not warming up food properly.
“He put his lasagna in the microwave without covering it with a napkin,” explained student Manny A la Carte, who first reported the event after trying to warm up his burrito. “What kind of animal does that? Something like this was bound to happen.”
While experts were called to clean up the hazard, the delay led to a line exceeding dozens of students waiting to microwave their leftovers and to heat up their ramen noodles.
The pileup began when the line began to bunch, creating minor blockage. At 11:50 a.m. heavy traffic from classes exiting the Main Building began to congest the hallway. Suddenly, the situation became deadly as the two groups collided.
“It was my fault. I was texting and walking,” stated Dee Strackted, who was at the front of the accident during the collision. “They warn you about it (texting and walking), but it’s not until you’re trapped under hundreds of your peers in a hallway that you truly understand.”
Traffic entering from the Sombrilla coming down the stairs from the JPL began clogging the hallway almost immediately after the first collision, causing students to fall on top of each other, slam into the walls and jam all entrances and exits to the area.
High school student Angela Dawson totaled her 2016 blue Jansport backpack, leaving her frightened of college and giving her a new sense of value for her life.
“I was already struggling to decide where to go to college when I got caught in the pileup,” she explained, having toured the campus with a group of her classmates. “Once I was trapped underneath the guy in my math class and my economics teacher, I knew that college wasn’t for me. Life is too short — things like this happen all the time.”
Yellow caution tape and wet floor signs were placed around the pileup to detour oncoming traffic and to allow emergency assistance to tow students, dragging their damaged bodies out of the pile. The microwave has yet to be fully cleaned; however, as the only microwave, is still in continued use.
Fifteen students were taken to Student Health Services after sustaining minor injuries. The other 38 faculty and visitors injured could not be treated due to the health center’s policy, and were given Band-Aids and told to suck it up.