A reported gas leak at 451 College Street was found to be nothing more than a false alarm yesterday, Yale Police Department spokesman Sgt. Steven Woznyk said.

At about 5 p.m., students, staff and faculty members in the building, which houses both the Religious Studies and Comparative Literature departments, were evacuated by fire marshals.

Three fire trucks and one hazmat vehicle were present at the scene, eyewitnesses said.

Yale police squad cars closed both lanes on College Street between Elm and Wall streets to traffic as a precautionary measure.

After the building was investigated for leaks, officials discovered that a commonly used cleaning chemical was responsible for the odor that occupants had reported as hazardous, Woznyk said.

-Bharat Ayyar