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Injured UNC Energy Services employee identified by DPS

UNC and the state are investigating Wednesday's accident at Dey Hall

Fifty-eight-year-old Gaylan Bishop is the University employee who was injured in the Dey Hall electrical closet accident Wednesday night, according to an incident report from the Department of Public Safety. 

The accident caused several buildings near Polk Place to lose power Wednesday, including a few dorms and the Student Union, and Wilson Library and Dey Hall are still closed for an indefinite amount of time, according to Alert Carolina. 

Randy Young, a spokesperson for UNC's Department of Public Safety, said he could not disclose any more information about the nature of the accident because of an ongoing investigation. 

The investigation will be handled by UNC's Department of Environment, Health and Safety and the North Carolina Department of Labor's division of Occupational Safety and Health Division, Young said. He said there is currently no timetable for the investigation.  

Young said the two buildings also do not have a timetable for when they will be re-opened. 

"We want to make sure the investigation has fully concluded, and then the buildings won't be opened until they are deemed safe," he said. 

Bishop works for UNC's energy services. Several eyewitnesses said Bishop came out of the closet on fire, and some even helped put out the fire — facts that were confirmed by a statement from Neal O'Briant, a spokesperson for the North Carolina Department of Labor. 

Aleksandr Zhushma was one of the individuals that helped Bishop, after he left Caudill Laboratories because the power went out. 

When Zhushma, a research employee in the chemistry department, left his building, he said he saw Bishop run out of a maintenance door on fire. 

"Immediately, adrenaline just kicks in and (I) start running there. In my mind I’m thinking, if that was me I would want someone to immediately rush over to help," Zhushma said.

Qiaoxi Li, a Ph.D. student in the chemistry department, said her labmate went to help pat Bishop down when they saw he was on fire. 

Both Li and Zhushma said Bishop appeared to be badly burned. 

"His hands were bloody, and you could see the bone," Li said. 

Tom Hughes, a spokesperson for UNC Hospitals, said he had no information on Bishop currently. Calls to Bishop's residence were not returned. 

All classes before 12:30 p.m. in Dey Hall and Wilson Library were canceled Thursday; courses that were scheduled to be in either building after the deadline were relocated across campus. According to the University's website, 83 classes were relocated in different academic buildings, dorms, labs and even Woollen Gym. 

One class, Elementary Russian, is going to be rescheduled, according to the website. 

Junior Ally Levine, whose 12:30 p.m. Literature and the Arts of Love class was moved from Dey Hall to the Genome Sciences Building, said she was a couple of minutes late to her class because of the new classroom. 

"Genome was actually really huge, and it was super confusing to find the classroom," she said. 

Levine said her professor told the class they will hopefully be back in Dey Hall for their next meeting on Tuesday.

"I assumed we would be back, but he made it seem like it was a bigger issue," she said. 

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Assistant University Editor Acy Jackson and Staff Writer Jack Davis contributed reporting