Gas leak in Richmond prompts evacuations

Posted at 5:28 AM, Aug 09, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-09 13:44:27-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - An early morning gas leak that prompted the evacuation of several building along Midlothian Turnpike is now under control.  Richmond Fire Lt. Robbie Hagaman told CBS 6 the one-inch ruptured pipe is barely leaking now. He added repairs began around 8:00 a.m. on Thursday.

"It was a matter of getting here, finding out where it was--you know," said Lt. Hagaman.  "Having the proper resources available to us and then of course getting the leak shut off."

Several buildings, including three motels, were evacuated around 3:45 Thursday morning after a contractor hit the natural gas line along the 6000 block of Midlothian Turnpike, Hagaman said.  Motels guests have since been allowed back into their rooms.

An employee at the Econo Lodge--where several guests were evacuated--said the ordeal left some feeling uneasy.  Evacuated guests from the Eagle Inn and Travel Lodge were also allowed to return to their rooms.

"It's a little bit scary but I guess I've never been in this situation," said Econo Lodge worker Mario Zavala.

No injuries were reported.

The intersection of Midlothian Turnpike and Carnation Street had been closed to traffic. One eastbound lane and both westbound lanes of Midlothian Turnpike have since reopened.

Angela Fountain with the City of Richmond's Department of Public Utilities said 83 homes were affected, 50 apartments and 17 businesses.  There were all notified about the situation when it happened.

This is a developing story