LUDLOW, Mass. (WGGB) — East Street in Ludlow is back open after a large gas leak shut down the area Wednesday.
Several buildings were evacuated after construction crews renovating the former Boys and Girls Club ruptured a two inch gas line just before 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Workers quickly called 911.
“It was spewing gas,” Fire Chief Mark Babineau said. “They immediately evacuated the building and secured the area.”
“A few of our seniors went outside to have a cigarette and were told no don’t light anything, there’s a problem,” adds Carla Roberts, Program Coordinator at the Ludlow Senior Center.
Firefighters moved those at HealthSouth Rehabilitation and the senior center to the farthest parts of their buildings while Columbia Gas worked to stop the leak.
“They also evacuated some of the tenants. We have senior housing above us and the ones on that end of the building were asked to come down here as well,” Roberts explains.
The gas line was compromised in the basement of the old, large building. Babineau says that allowed the gas to spread through the entire building.
“That is a significant gas line. Yes, there was a lot of gas that entered the building. Our concern is that there are probably pockets in there that are above its’ range where it’ll burn,” Babineau noted before the scene was cleared. “At some point that range is going to come down and that’s a danger period so take us a little bit of time to ventilate the building and make sure it’s safe.”
After measuring gas in the air, the area was reopened around 1 p.m., with about a dozen businesses dealing with three hours of downtime.
“It’s very frustrating, but you know certain things can’t be helped and you make the best of a bad situation,” Joe Pereira of Deluxe Auto Sales said. “You just got to do what you got to do.”
Nobody was hurt.
The senior center was able to keep their van service operating to bring any residents back home.