New Albany News

Gas leak at High Street construction site causes temporary evacuation

Both lanes of High Street between Johnstown Road and Chatham Green in New Albany were closed for more than an hour Monday morning, July 15, because of a gas leak reported near 68 N. High St. about 9:30 a.m.

"A contractor hit a gas line in front of the (New Albany-Plain Local) 2-5 annex building and some temporary evacuation occurred as a precaution," said Battalion Chief Greg Ecleberry of the Plain Township Fire Department. "Columbia Gas was on the scene and they worked to repair the problem and shut off the gas.

"Once it was turned off and the gas in the air was allowed to dissipate, all were allowed back in the businesses and schools."

Thirty students taking summer academy classes in the annex were moved into the 2-5 elementary building as a precaution, said district spokesman Patrick Gallaway.

Gallaway said the administrative office, which also is close to High Street, was not evacuated.

People evacuated from several businesses were being brought back in around 11 a.m., said New Albany spokesman Scott McAfee.

Ecleberry said gas leaks can occur with road construction projects. The city is rebuilding High Street between Johnstown Road and Chatham Green.

"The road was reopened and the construction traffic pattern in place right now was resumed," he said.

The Columbus and Mifflin Township fire departments assisted at the scene, Ecleberry said.

-- Lori Wince