Gas main break disrupts traffic, causes evacuationA break...

HOWARD COUNTY BRIEFS

August 15, 1993

Gas main break disrupts traffic, causes evacuation

A break in a natural gas main disrupted power to about 1,500 people in the Harper's Choice area Friday afternoon, causing police to reroute traffic and evacuate nearby residents.

Shortly after 8 a.m. a short in an underground electrical feeder cable punctured an adjacent gas line at the entrance of the Fall River Terrace townhouse community at the intersection of Harpers Farm Road and Eliots Oak Road in Harper's Choice.

Police evacuated the residents of 10 houses closest to the site.

No injuries were reported. Traffic was redirected along Harpers Farm Road and Eliots Oak Road for more than five hours, Howard police said.

The pressure of the leaking natural gas shot sand 12 feet into the air as Baltimore Gas & Electric crews dug an 8-foot trench to the source of the problem, workers said.

At 11:55 a.m. the workers sealed the gas line with a steel band and,within an hour, electric power was restored to about half of the customers, according to Art S. Slusark, BG&E spokesman.

By 4 p.m. Friday, power had been restored to all but 12 customers, he said.

Carjacking attempt under investigation

Howard County Police are investigating the attempted carjacking of a van Thursday morning in Ellicott City in which a man wielding a knife threatened a driver at a traffic light.

Police said Clarence O. Seal, 36, of Bunker Hill, West Va., was sitting in a work van at a light at the intersection of St. Johns Lane and Frederick Road before 9 a.m. when a man with a knife approached and threatened to take the vehicle.

"I'm driving," the man said as he displayed his weapon.

Mr. Seal escaped injury, driving to a nearby business before the suspect could enter his van. He called police, but they could not find the man.

The man is described as a black male, 6 feet, 3 inches tall, 160 pounds, with a dark complexion and short black hair. He wore a black shirt and dark shorts.

Woodstock man hurt in head-on crash

A Woodstock man was injured seriously Friday morning after his 1993 Chevrolet pickup truck crossed the center line on Frederick Road in Ellicott City and ran head-on into a firefighter's truck, police said.

James Stanley Sharp, 26, of the 10600 block of Breezewood Drive, was flown by helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he was reported in serious but stable condition Friday.

Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention Edgar Shilling, 49, was driving a Ford Bronco fire and rescue vehicle west on Frederick Road, west of Toll House Road, before noon when the eastbound vehicle hit him, police said. He was in stable condition at Howard County General Hospital.

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