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Columbia Gas contractor hits gas main, forcing evacuation

via Bill Kirk, Eagle Tribune

Thirteen people were briefly evacuated from four homes on Oak Street Thursday morning after a contractor working for Columbia Gas hit an old gas line while attempting to install a new one, the fire chief said.

According to Chief Brian Moriarty, a crew from Feeney Brothers Utilities Services, which has been working on replacing old gas lines in the city for the gas company, hit the old line in the vicinity of 6 Oak St. at about 10:40 a.m.

He said gas leaked into the surrounding sewer system but did not enter any of the homes.

However, out of "an abundance of caution," the residents of four homes were directed to the Center, formerly the senior center, on Haverhill Street.

After the gas was turned off and cleared from the area, the residents were allowed to return home by around 11:30 a.m., he said.

Columbia Gas is working to repair the damaged pipe and continues installing new pipes in the area, the chief said. Nobody was injured and there was no damage to report, other than the broken pipe, Moriarty said.

Columbia Gas is scheduled to stop all work in the area as of Nov. 1, 2020, as part of a deal the company struck with state and federal authorities. The company is being sold to Eversource.


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