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Gas line breaks in GHS construction

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Firefighters spray a fine mist of water to dissipate escaping natural gas from a main along Barr Avenue that was struck by an excavator at the construction site for the new high school.

    Recorder/Paul Franz
    Firefighters spray a fine mist of water to dissipate escaping natural gas from a main along Barr Avenue that was struck by an excavator at the construction site for the new high school.

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Firefighters spray a fine mist of water to dissipate escaping natural gas from a main along Barr Avenue that was struck by an excavator at the construction site for the new high school.

    Recorder/Paul Franz
    Firefighters spray a fine mist of water to dissipate escaping natural gas from a main along Barr Avenue that was struck by an excavator at the construction site for the new high school.

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Firefighters evacuate nearby houses after a natural gas main along Barr Avenue was struck by an excavator at the construction site at the new high school in Greenfield.

    Recorder/Paul Franz
    Firefighters evacuate nearby houses after a natural gas main along Barr Avenue was struck by an excavator at the construction site at the new high school in Greenfield.

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Greenfield fire Chief Robert Strahan talks at natural gas leak along Barr Avenue.

    Recorder/Paul Franz
    Greenfield fire Chief Robert Strahan talks at natural gas leak along Barr Avenue.

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Firefighters spray a fine mist of water to dissipate escaping natural gas from a main along Barr Avenue that was struck by an excavator at the construction site for the new high school.
  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Firefighters spray a fine mist of water to dissipate escaping natural gas from a main along Barr Avenue that was struck by an excavator at the construction site for the new high school.
  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Firefighters evacuate nearby houses after a natural gas main along Barr Avenue was struck by an excavator at the construction site at the new high school in Greenfield.
  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Greenfield fire Chief Robert Strahan talks at natural gas leak along Barr Avenue.

GREENFIELD — While some people as far south as Main Street caught an occasional whiff of gas on Tuesday morning, Berkshire Gas Co. says no one was ever in danger after a backhoe hit a gas line during construction at the high school and caused a gas leak.

Chris Farrell, director of marketing and communications for Berkshire Gas, said an excavator hit a 4-inch service line, which was connected to the main line, while digging on the property early Tuesday morning.

“We got the call at 7:30 a.m. and were on site at 7:40 a.m.,” said Farrell.

Greenfield firefighters and police also responded and closed Silver Street from Federal Street to Davis Street, and Cleveland Street to through traffic.

Greenfield Deputy Fire Chief Edward Jarvis said 19 Greenfield firefighters, as well as eight firefighters from Turners Falls and South Deerfield, were on the scene until about 11 a.m.

Jarvis said the large excavator ruptured a high-pressure, 4-inch gas line. He said firefighters established a water connection, set up deck guns and doused the line for close to three hours to disperse the gas until Berkshire Gas could shut down the main.

The deputy chief said firefighters and gas company employees monitored houses and drains in the area to make sure there was no danger.

Jarvis said a few houses on the Silver Street side of the high school were evacuated for precautionary reasons, because they were so close. He said there were no injuries.

Firefighters left the scene by 11:30 a.m. and Farrell said the gas company planned to have repairs and replacements done by mid-afternoon. Contractors were back to work by shortly after noon.

“It’s intricate work, so it will probably take a couple of hours,” said Farrell.

Firefighters from Bernardston and Brattleboro, Vt., covered the Greenfield station during the morning.

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