Fire officials: Construction crew hits gas line near LSU, causing rupture and fire

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - After being at least partially blocked for nearly 12 hours due to a gas leak and fire, a heavily traveled roadway near LSU was reopened.

Traffic officials reported Stanford Avenue was completely opened around 9 p.m. Police had shut down the roadway around 10:30 a.m.

The Baton Rouge Fire Department said a construction crew hit a gas line near LSU, rupturing the natural gas line beneath the roadway Monday morning, which eventually led to the road buckling.

It happened on Stanford Avenue near LSU Avenue. Officials said workers hit a two-inch gas line beneath the roadway while digging with a backhoe. No injuries were reported.

A pumping station in the area caught fire and fire investigators confirmed the fire was caused by the gas line rupture. The fire was put out around 11:15 a.m. The natural gas line was capped off around 1:30 p.m. Officials said the line was fed from three different directions.

"There was basically some power equipment and a generator of some sort that was being used by the construction crews," said Curt Monte with the Baton Rouge Fire Department. "It was near the pump station. The natural gas seeped out, got to that super heated equipment and it ignited itself and the building."

The Department of Public Works Director said a construction crew was there building a new sewer plant when they hit the gas line. Entergy crews made the repairs to the line.

Officials evacuated some houses in the area, but those were lifted 1:45 p.m. A hazmat team from the Baton Rouge Fire Department responded to monitor the air quality. People were asked to avoid the area until the repairs were made.

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