Gas leak evacuates businesses

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 13, 2006

AHOSKIE – A contractor working on the recently improved section of US 13 south caused some anxious moments here Tuesday.

Apparently, a worker severed a gas line which in turn caused two businesses to close and evacuate their employees.

According to Ahoskie Fire Chief Ken Dilday, his department sealed off the area just south of the US 13/NC 561 intersection at 3:45 p.m. That came in response to a two-inch gas line being punctured by a backhoe.

“There was a very strong odor of gas in that area,” Dilday said. “Pierce Printing and Electric Motor Service both closed and sent their employees home just to be on the safe side.”

Dilday said the other businesses along US 13 were contacted and advised of the situation. He said that was done in an effort to ensure they did not use any type of tools that would cause any sparks.

An official from the NC Natural Gas office in Tarboro arrived to seal off the line.

US 13 remained closed for two hours. Traffic was routed around the scene by using NC 561 and the Arrow Road.