ANDOVER — Chief Michael B. Mansfield reports that Andover Fire Rescue responded to a gas leak in town today.
At approximately 10:53 a.m., Andover Fire responded to the intersection of Central and Chestnut Streets after a high pressure gas line was struck and damaged during water main replacement work.
St. Augustine School students were evacuated as a precaution after firefighters determined that the wind was blowing the gas fumes towards the nearby school building. The students were brought to nearby St. Augustine Parish, where they were picked up by their families with the help of the Andover Police Department.
Several residents within a two block radius of the leak were evacuated as a precaution with the assistance of the Andover Police Department as well. No natural gas was detected inside any of the homes and residents have since returned to their homes after each house was checked.
The Lawrence and Tewksbury Fire Departments provided station coverage during the incident.
“Incidents like this carry a special significance in our community as a result of the events of two years ago,” Chief Mansfield said, “But I am proud of all of the residents and students who responded calmly in evacuating, and I’m grateful for our firefighters who responded quickly to mitigate the danger.”
Repair work is currently being carried out by Columbia Gas. The work will continue throughout the early afternoon and resulting traffic delays are expected in the area until about 4 p.m. Motorists are encouraged to avoid the area.