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Small leak requires gas line repair

A gas line repair and a reported natural gas leak kept firefighters busy yesterday, though neither posed immediate danger to passers-by.

From 12 to 3 p.m. yesterday, Athens city officials shut down half of South Shafer Street where it intersects West Union Street so Columbia Gas of Ohio could repair a broken gas line, according to a City of Athens news release.

Columbia Gas recently identified repairs were needed on a gas line in front of 97 S. Shafer St., and the company paid for the repairs, said Andy Stone, director of Engineering and Public Works.

“It’s a small situation,” Stone said. “Nothing serious.”

The gas company could not be reached for comment.

Although the repairs to the line were common, they were not normal for lines located in the street, Stone said.

At about 1:15 p.m. yesterday, firefighters responded to a reported natural gas odor behind Bentley Hall on West Mulberry Street.

Firefighters on scene said they had detected natural gas in the area but that there was no immediate danger.

Columbia Gas was called to the scene to identify the source of the odor at about 1:30 p.m.

“The leak is very small and not hazardous,” said Stanley Houck, repair manager for the gas company.

A repair crew arrived on scene and closed the street to open a 3-foot-by-3-foot hole in the street, Houck said.

The repairs were minor, but Houck said he could not say how often such leaks occur.


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