Gas leak leads to building evacuation in Providence

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A medical building on Point Street in Providence was briefly evacuated Saturday afternoon after work crews struck a gas line, according to fire officials.

“Construction crew accidentally hit a pressure gas line going into the Coro Building so we initiated a major gas response.  We had crews evacuate the building as a precaution.  Went through the building with meters, make sure there was no gas,” Battalion Chief Jay Viens said.

An Eyewitness News crew was on the scene shortly after 3 p.m. and observed several roads blocked off to the area by police. National Grid crews were also on the scene.

“Fortunately, the wind was blowing away from the building, it was actually toward the highway so we temporarily shut off the off-ramp until the gas was shut off.  Once the gas was shut off it dissipated enough so we could open the off-ramp,” Viens said.

The chief said on a weekday the building is generally full with a few hundred people, but because it’s the weekend only about a dozen people were inside the building at the time.  

Once crews made sure there were no readings of gas in the building, everyone was allowed back inside.

While everything turned out okay, Viens said the large response was completely warranted.

“It’s like a 35 psi line, that’s, that’s a big line, that was putting out a lot of gas, sounded like a freight train when it was running,” he said.

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