01/26/05 — Second gas leak forces evacuation in Goldsboro

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Second gas leak forces evacuation in Goldsboro

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on January 26, 2005 2:11 PM

A severed gas line kept city employees out of their downtown offices Tuesday for more than an hour.

Construction workers accidentally cut a gas line, just before 1 p.m., while doing foundation work on the new city hall building.

City workers stood across the street from city hall as they waited to go back to work, occasionally moving down the street and away from the smell of the gas.

A maintenance crew from the North Carolina Natural Gas Company located the leaking line quickly, but it took two clamps to cap the line.

Goldsboro Fire Chief Bobby Greenfield said that anytime there was a leaking gas line, there could be a risk of explosion from any minor spark.

"That's why we evacuated City Hall, and closed off the streets from Center down to John Streets," he explained. "Even starting a car could be dangerous."

Greenfield said that Tuesday's wind helped the gas dissipate quicker.

"If the wind was still it would linger longer," he said.

Before employees were allowed back to work, firefighters took readings outside and inside the building.

"We want to make sure the gas levels are down and that everything's safe" Greenfield said.

It was the second gas leak in downtown Goldsboro in a matter of a few hours.

Demolition crews leveling the burned out Community Building on William Street also nicked a gas line around 10:30 Tuesday morning. That line was capped within about a half hour.