Belleville

Gas line struck near fairgrounds in Belleville

The digging arm of a Bobcat excavator is shown with part of it under the sidewalk of the home Thursday afternoon on South Charles Street in Belleville.
The digging arm of a Bobcat excavator is shown with part of it under the sidewalk of the home Thursday afternoon on South Charles Street in Belleville. News-Democrat

Residents in four homes were evacuated after a gas line was struck Thursday afternoon in the 900 block of South Charles Street in Belleville.

Firefighters said a plumbing crew from Troy-based Culler Plumbing Services struck the line around 1:40 p.m. Thursday. Assistant Fire Chief J. P. Penet said additional homes would have been evacuated but the residents were not home.

“We have no injuries. MedStar is here on standby,” Penet said.

A small Bobcat excavator and some PVC pipe were by the sidewalk in front of a home on the west side of the street with a strong odor of gas and a loud hissing sound in the area. Belleville Fire Department trucks blocked off the section of Charles Street between East Grant Street and East Van Buren Street.

The homeowner declined comment, but was walking into and around the house. Other neighbors were on their porches.

The portion of Charles Street was reopened and homeowners allowed to return at 3:30p.m. after Ameren crews capped the line ahead of the break and began removing and replacing the damaged section of the line.

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