Gas leak on DePauw campus prompts street closure, evacuations

Thursday, March 16, 2017
As a six-inch gas main continues to leak Thursday afternoon, crews from the Greencastle Fire Department and other local agencies respond to the incident on the DePauw campus. The leak prompted building evacuations and the closure of one block of South Locust Street.

Several buildings were evacuated and an elementary school placed on lockdown Thursday when a six-inch gas main was ruptured along South Locust Street.

A utility crew was excavating next to the street at the south end of the Pulliam Center for Contemporary Media late Thursday morning and struck the gas main, causing the leak.

Greencastle Fire Chief John Burgess told the Banner Graphic the location of the gas line had been marked and it was unclear exactly how the mishap occurred.

Fire crews were dispatched at 11:37 a.m. and the street was immediately closed between Elm and Olive streets.

The Media Center was evacuated, as were several nearby residences. Both the Green Center for the Performing Arts and Ridpath Primary School remained occupied, with their air-handling units turned off.

Ridpath was placed on lockdown for part of the afternoon.

Burgess said no gas readings were detected in the nearby buildings.

Vectren crews arrived after noon and set to work stopping the leak.

Fire crews cleared the scene at 2:33 p.m. after the leak had been stopped.

Vectren remained on the scene several more hours, reconnecting the main and re-establishing gas service in the area.

Other responding agencies included City Police, Sheriff’s Department representatives, DePauw Public Safety, Duke Energy, Greencastle Municipal Utilities and USIC underground utility location.

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