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Gas leak briefly closes downtown Durham streets

Posted October 21, 2010

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— Natural gas leaking from a damaged line Thursday morning forced Durham police to close three downtown intersections and evacuate nearby buildings for about four hours.

The intersections of Main Street and Buchanan Boulevard, Main and Gregson streets and Morgan and Gregson streets were closed at about 10 a.m.

Angie Townsend, a spokeswoman for PSNC Energy, said the contractor, All Star Underground, drilling in the area hit a 4-inch gas pipeline underneath Main Street near Watts Street.

All Star’s owner, Jim Berbube, said workers were installing a fiber optic line between two buildings at Duke University when they hit an unmarked line.

PSNC closed the valve at about 11 a.m., stopping the gas flow, Townsend said, but it took several hours to fix the pipe.

Nearby buildings, including Durham School of the Arts, the Brightleaf Square retail and office complex, were evacuated. They reopened shortly after 2 p.m.

Townsend said PSNC is investigating Berbube’s claim about the gas line not being properly marked.

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  • mykmizzle Oct 22, 2010

    How do you know this BettyRubble?....I have already seen Allstarr underground's video footage of the area not properly located...Mark my words, when its all said and done The Utility Company will be paying all those customers back...Thanks

  • bettyrubble62 Oct 21, 2010

    Ok, this is All Star Underground-Jim Berube's fault. Utility locate company did their job. Contractor needs to eat the cost on this one, just like they have done before

  • mykmizzle Oct 21, 2010

    North Carolina One call was contacted...Most Gas lines were marked, all but this one...Gas Utility company's fault on this one for sure

  • ncmickey Oct 21, 2010

    Not that close to the ballpark. Pretty much Brightleaf area. I just drove through there an hour ago. Most roads are reopened... Duke St was one lane with much work being done.

  • Pulling for the Tarheels Oct 21, 2010

    Isn't this in the same area (or close to) the ball field? If so, I hope it doesn't interrupt the "Light the Night" walk tonight.

  • Caveman93 Oct 21, 2010

    Remember to call before you dig kids!

  • monkeyboy Oct 21, 2010

    sorry, guys. that was me. i had lunch at the cosmic cantina...

  • kristofftod Oct 21, 2010

    Don't strike a match! We're still here

  • jdag Oct 21, 2010

    811. The number to call for underground locating. It's free. The repair isn't.

  • mshood7 Oct 21, 2010

    Who was responsible??? Time to take responsibility for incompetence or ??