Car crash results in broken gas line

gas leak 1

Capt. Thomas Dorn, of the Havelock Fire and Rescue Department, looks back on a wrecked vehicle that caused a broken gas line Thursday afternoon in front of the Sound of Freedom Shoppes in Havelock.

Drew C. Wilson/Havelock
Published: Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 16:16 PM.

A car crash resulted in a gas leak that tied up traffic on U.S. 70 in western Havelock for nearly two hours.

The crash happened shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday off a service road in front of the Sound of Freedom Shoppes across from Walmart in Havelock.

The driver of the vehicle, which ended up on its side, managed to get out on her own and did not have life-threatening injuries.

However, the natural gas from the Piedmont main distribution line hissed as it escaped from the leak. Havelock police and fire personnel raced to evacuate the nearby Sound of Freedom Shoppes. Some students who were awaiting parents to pick them up at Gurganus Elementary School had to be sent by bus to the Walmart parking lot for pickup as the school was evacuated.

Rescue personnel made the decision to close U.S. 70 to traffic, fearful that any spark could cause an explosion.

Authorities contacted Norfolk-Southern to make sure any train would be stopped before it neared the area of the leak, also worried about any spark.

Eastbound traffic on U.S. 70 was rerouted along the service road in front of Walmart, and westbound traffic on the highway was rerouted through the parking lot and behind the store to the exiting service road.



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