By Rod Rose The Lebanon Reporter
---- — Dozens of homes in Lebanon’s Hoosier Estates Mobile Home Park were evacuated for about four hours Thursday, after a crew from Lebanon Utilities sliced through a natural gas main.
The number of people displaced was unknown.
The rupture at 921 Campbell St. was reported at 10 a.m., and contained at 2:02 p.m., when people were allowed to return to their homes. The Lebanon Fire Department ordered the mandatory evacuation of homes within one block of the leak, until it was repaired.
A stick was used as a temporary plug, until firefighters could install a plastic cone designed specifically to seal gas line punctures.
“The idea behind that was you can plug it with a stick temporarily and that will release the flow of escaping gas and that will reduce the risk of fire or explosion,” Lebanon Police Lt. Brent Wheat said.
That technique apparently worked well: Wheat said when he first arrived, the sound of gas escaping from the rupture could be heard more than 200 feet away. After the line was plugged, no escaping gas could be detected, either by sound or smell, within 50 feet of the rupture.
An emergency shelter was opened by the American Red Cross at Harney Elementary School, 1500 N. Garfield St. Two elderly women – and their four dogs – were believed to be the only people taken to the shelter.
The rupture at 921 W. Campbell St. caused firefighters to order mandatory evacuation of homes within one block of the leak until it was repaired.
Boone County Sheriff’s deputies; the Boone County Emergency Management Agency and Boone County EMS assisted Lebanon and Center Township fire departments at the scene.