Gas leak in Goshen after 4-inch steel natural main hit

Buildings in the immediate area have been evacuated after a gas leak near Goshen College. 

Posted on April 15, 2014 at 10:37 a.m. | Updated on April 15, 2014 at 2:58 p.m.

GOSHEN — Main and Lafayette streets in Goshen were closed for several hours Tuesday while NIPSCO responded to a gas leak.

The Goshen fire and police departments were called to the intersection of Main and Lafayette streets at about 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, April 15. NIPSCO was also called to the scene, according to a dispatcher at the Elkhart County 911 Communications Center.

Kathleen Szot, communications manager for NIPSCO, said a 4-inch steel natural main was hit, causing the leak. The pipe that was hit is bigger than those used to supply gas to homes, she said, calling a hit on a 4-inch main "significant."

Szot said police called the agency at about 8:51 a.m. reporting the gas leak and had the gas stopped by 3 p.m.

At 4 p.m., NISPCO employees starting going door-to-door to help homeowners in the area relight their furnaces, she said.

Alan Wise, a NIPSCO serviceman said the agency had to call in a crew from outside the area to work on the main, which was connected to a metal pipe.

Dustin Sailor, city utility engineer for Goshen, said city crews were replacing a hydrant in the area when they hit the pipe. He said the replacement was an isolated maintenance project.

He said NIPSCO usually marks the lines to avoid gas leaks. The area that was hit was not marked. 

Wise said a strip mall with IU Health Goshen Medical and a few homes in the immediate area were evacuated.

Mary Beechy-King, a resident who lives near the intersection of Lafayette and Eighth streets, said emergency crews knocked on her door at about 10 a.m.

"They said they hit a gas pipe line and said we had to get out," said Beechy-King, who was at home with friends and four toddlers when they were told to leave the house.

A loud rushing sound could be heard near the intersection Tuesday morning.

Several NIPSCO trucks were parked around the scene. Fire trucks and ambulances were blocking the road. Firefighters were seen going door-to-door advising neighbors about the leak.

Elkhart Truth reporter Angelle Barbazon contributed to this report.


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