ST. LOUIS – South St. Louis residents rushed out of their homes to safety after a construction crew hit a gas line.
The natural gas leak happened in the 4100 block of Louisiana, located in the Dutchtown neighborhood. Many homes were evacuated Thursday morning.
“They knocked on the door at 8 a.m. and told us we had to get out of the home immediately,” said Betsy King, a resident.
Authorities said a construction company was working on a city rain garden, collecting heavy rain to slow flooding, when crews hit the gas main line.
“For precautionary measures, we evacuated the homes on this block, so we can bring our personnel in to check these homes for gas levels,” said Captain Leon Whitener of the St. Louis Fire Department.
No injuries were reported and residents were able to return home.
The evacuation follows numerous home explosions this year in the St. Louis area. A video was captured moments after a house exploded in O’Fallon, Missouri. The home was leveled after a third-party contractor working in the area struck a Spire gas line in March. No one was injured.
Spire said they received about 285,000 calls in 2021 to mark gas lines in Eastern Missouri. They reported it had increased to 335,000 calls to mark gas lines in 2022.
Spire officials said they always educate construction crews to make sure they take proper precautions to prevent accidents.
“At Spire, safety is valued. It’s something that we work with, and we are entrenched in it every day,” said Craig Hoeferlin, Spire vice president of operation services and SMS. “When it comes to pipeline safety, we make sure everyone that is working around our facility realizes safety is a value, and they take that to heart. When we are working around a natural gas pipeline, you should always call 811. Once that call is made, then we will come out and locate the main and provide services. We will make sure everything will be marked so when it comes time to doing an extrication, the excavators and everyone will know where these facilities are.”