A gas leak on High Street prevented traffic flow and prompted the early conclusion to part of a Model UN conference for high schoolers located in two High Street buildings Saturday afternoon.

Acting Battalion Chief John Shepa said the Southern Connecticut Gas Company was notified of the leak around 3 p.m. and took measures to ensure that gas was not leaked into the street’s adjacent buildings — including Street Hall and Linsly-Chittenden Hall.

“It could be a dangerous thing if it gets complicated,” Shepa said. “Gas can leak through other pipes — such as electrical pipes.”

Shepa said because of the age of the pipes, leaks are a common occurrence, particularly during the winter when the pipes are prone to freezing.

The Yale University Art Gallery was closed and the Model UN conference was ended early that day as a result of the leak, Shepa said.

Yale Model UN Under-Secretary General of Delegations Kristine Dicolandrea ’07 said although approximately 500-700 high school students were evacuated from the two buildings about an hour before they were scheduled to leave on Saturday, they were able to conclude the conference on time the following day.

“[The evacuation] was certainly unprecedented in the 31 years we have had the conference, ” Dicolandrea said. “It definitely could have been a lot worse.”