Gas line break forces evacuation in Latonia

Crews from Duke Energy examine the gas line break at 35th and Latonia.

COVINGTON, Ky. - Residents of a two-square-block area of Latonia were forced out of their homes for about two hours on Friday afternoon after a contractor working on the reconstruction of Latonia Avenue ruptured a natural gas line. 

No one was hurt in either the incident or the evacuation, Covington Fire Chief Mark Pierce said.
The incident happened about 2 p.m. when the operator of an excavator (which looks like a small backhoe on metal tracks) digging up the street hit the gas line at the corner of 35th Street and Latonia Avenue, causing natural gas to leak into the air.
The operator immediately called 911. Under a Code Red procedure, residents of a two-block by two-block area were notified by calls or texts to their land lines and cell phones to evacuate. Emergency personnel also knocked on doors to alert residents, Pierce said
Crews from Duke Energy arrived shortly and began the slow process of shutting off and repairing the leak, he said. The process takes a while because crews have to be careful not to build up too much pressure elsewhere in the system.
About 4 p.m., the leak had been isolated and residents were being let back into their homes, Pierce said.
“We appreciate the quick work of the contractor, the First Responders and Duke,” he said.
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