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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Gas leak causes evacuations

  • People were evacuated from four homes because of gas leak Wednesday morning in south Leavenworth, a Fire Department spokesman said.
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  • People were evacuated from four homes because of gas leak Wednesday morning in south Leavenworth, a Fire Department spokesman said.
    One of the houses is used as a home day care business. No injuries were reported, according to Bill McKeel, battalion chief for the Leavenworth Fire Department.
    The leak was reported shortly after 8 a.m. Wednesday in the 1600 block of Limit Street.
    McKeel said a backhoe operator was digging in the area as part of a street project. The backhoe struck a 2-inch natural gas line, resulting in the leak.
    Workers in the area shut down their equipment and backed away.
    McKeel said responding firefighters could hear the gas leaking from the hole. He said the four houses were evacuated by firefighters and police officers because the homes were considered to be in immediate danger from an explosion that could have resulted from the leak. Despite the danger, there was no explosion.
    The owner of the day care business contacted parents to pick up their children because of the extended period of the evacuation.
    McKeel said the wind wasn't very strong Wednesday morning.
    "So the gas was going straight up in the air," he said.
    This is why there wasn't a larger evacuation area.
    "You could smell it at 20th and Limit," he said of the gas leak, but there was no danger to that area.
    The battalion chief said firefighters remained on the scene until Kansas Gas Service personnel had pinched off the line on both sides of the leak. Evacuees were allowed back into their homes at that point.

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