Eastern Wake News

Digging breaks 8-inch natural gas line in Zebulon

Emergency responders stand by as utility crews and Zebulon firefighters work to repair a major gas leak off Worth Hinton Road in Zebulon, N.C. Wednesday, May 4, 2016.
Emergency responders stand by as utility crews and Zebulon firefighters work to repair a major gas leak off Worth Hinton Road in Zebulon, N.C. Wednesday, May 4, 2016. amoody@newsobserver.com

A road construction crew working on Worth Hinton Road damaged an 8-inch natural gas line Wednesday morning, causing a major gas leak, officials said.

Zebulon Fire Chief Chris Perry said an N.C. Department of Transportation crew was working on a ditch on the mostly residential road on the west side of town when the line was damaged just before 8:30 a.m. No one was injured, Perry said.

Zebulon police had the entire road, from Green Pace Road to West Gannon Avenue, blocked to through traffic and officials anticipated it would take the majority of the day to repair the line.

The fire department and crews from Public Service North Carolina were working to repair the line, which involved installing a temporary bypass while the damaged section of was replaced. The bypass allowed gas customers to maintain service during the repair work, Perry said.

The leak occurred across the street from shipping and receiving entrances to the 200-acre GlaxoSmithKline facility. It prompted GSK to evacuate one of its adjacent manufacturing facilities after workers there reported smelling the strong gas odor. Perry said the fire department was working with GSK on air monitoring about 11 a.m. so work could resume in the facility.

One residence was relatively close to the location of the leak, and its occupants had remained indoors through the morning, Perry said. There have been no evacuations of residents.

The town released a statement informing residents of the leak and that those in the western side of town can expect to smell the gas odor.

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