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GAS LEAK: Struck gas line evacuates local businesses

November 1, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY ­— A gas leak Thursday afternoon forced several Columbia City businesses to evacuate and temporarily shut down.

At approximately 12:15 p.m. Thursday, Columbia City’s fire department was sent to the Columbia City Plaza, located at the corner of U.S. 30 and Ind. 109, for a gas leak.

According to Fire Chief Tom LaRue, crews were boring under the pavement between two strip malls when they struck a gas line.

LaRue said it took nearly two hours to shut off the gas to the area, and several buildings were filled with natural gas.

Since natural gas is lighter than air and there were occasional gusty winds Thursday, LaRue said some of the buildings had a high level of gas in them.

“Some of the businesses had enough gas in them to be explosive,” LaRue said. “That’s why we evacuated all of the businesses in the area.”

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