Building emptied after gas line break

March 16, 1995|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Sun Staff Writer

Ten lunch customers and employees inside the Elk's Lodge at Route 140 and Gorsuch Road were forced from the building when a contractor struck a high pressure natural gas line yesterday.

Fire officials said the worker was operating a small Bobcat loader while excavating dirt at the rear of the lodge hall for a new 40-foot by 80-foot patio and struck the high pressure regulator on a 2-inch gas line.

The regulator was broken off when a tooth on the bucket of the excavating machine hit the line, allowing natural gas to escape and enter the building.

The worker notified Elk's employees and called Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. to inform the utility of the leak. Fire officials were called at 2:28 p.m. and dispatched equipment from Westminster, Pleasant Valley and Manchester. There was no fire and no one was injured. The first fire emergency crews suited up with air masks and a gas registering meter and determined a high concentration of gas inside the brick building, fire officials said.

All doors were opened and firefighters placed a fan inside the hall to remove the gas.

A BGE worker arrived at 2:50 p.m. and had the gas leak shut off within two minutes.

Other BGE crews arrived to check underground pipes for damage.

Gorsuch Road was closed for about one hour.

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