A construction crew found an unpleasant surprise when it started digging on Chapel Street on Tuesday afternoon. Workers struck a gas main that was buried nearer to the surface than they expected.
The gas pipe ruptured. The fire department responded. The street was blocked off, Several businesses were evacuated.
Southern Connecticut Gas had the pipe patched within an hour. There were no injuries.
The gas leak happened between 1 and 1:30 p.m. on College Street between Chapel and Crown, right in front of the Shubert Theater.
At 2:30 p.m., Fire Battalion Chief Ron Scarano was supervising the aftermath. He said the pipe had been broken about an hour earlier, when a construction company was cutting up the asphalt. The 12-inch gas main was buried shallower than usual, just 12 inches below the surface, he said.
When the firefighters responded, they blocked off the block and evacuate the closest businesses, from Greg’s Tailor Shop to College Convenience and Deli. The Shubert Theater office was also evacuated. Scarano said meter readings found that there was no dangerous gas in any of the businesses.
Firefighters unrolled hoses to be ready to douse an flare-ups.
Southern Connnecticut Gas was able to cap the leak without incident.