Traffic halted by gas leak

Moorefield Twp. fire crews were called out to the 2800 block of Middle Urbana Road shortly after 1:30 p.m. Wednesday after a driver reported hearing a hissing sound. Fire Capt. Timothy Pollock said firefighters responding could hear the gas leak a half-mile from the scene.

“Crews got on scene to find a gas main has been sheared off at the ground level,” Pollock said. “There was no way to shut it off coming straight from the main pipe.”

The home where the main was damaged is under foreclosure. Columbia Gas spokesman Ken Stammen said it’s believed a crew mowing the lawn accidentally busted the meter. He did not release the name of the company. The main was repaired by 1:35 p.m, and no residents lost their natural gas service, he said.

Wind helped dissipate the natural gas, which pumped out heavily into the neighborhood, prompting fire crews to ask neighbors to stay inside until the leak was controlled. A perimeter was set up four blocks in both directions, Pollock said.

“Natural gas is nothing to fool around with,” Pollock said. “It’s explosive, so (you don’t) want any lighters or cars backfiring. That’s why we secured the scene as far as we did both ways.”

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