Traffic was slowed along the 4400 block of Illinois 159 near Frank Scott Parkway in Swansea for about two hours Thursday afternoon after an excavator struck a natural gas line.
A crew from ADB Utility Contractors based in St. Louis struck the 1-inch gas line with a small backhoe while installing an underground fiber optic cable between the east side of the road and the sidewalk, Fire Chief John McGuire said.
He said customers at Johnny Mac’s Sporting Goods complained of an odor of gas after the line was struck shortly before 2 p.m. but the store had been ventilated and no one was injured.
Ameren crews dug a hole about 100 feet south of the line break to clamp the line and stop the leak.
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Both northbound lanes of Illinois 159 were blocked off but police allowed northbound traffic to pass the scene in the center turn lane. Southbound traffic was not impeded. Crews cleared the scene by 3:40 p.m.