Massive gas leak in downtown Ottawa caused by LRT construction
Things are returning to normal in downtown Ottawa after a massive gas leak on Tuesday afternoon.
Emergency crews were called just after 1:20 p.m. after subcontractors for Rideau Transit Group, the consortium in charge of the light rail transit project, struck a four-inch stub on a gas main while doing streetscraping work on Queen Street, according to RTG.
Emily Fleck works at Starbucks on Queen St., where the main was hit.
"We just heard the very loud noise outside, could hear the gas instantly," Fleck says.
"All of a sudden, you saw all of the construction workers just scatter. They ran and ran and ran. We started evacuating and locking down our own stores."
CTV's Nicole Green told Newstalk 580 CFRA that she heard a loud noise from a construction crew and saw workers running away from the scene.
The high-pressure line spewed natural gas into the air, with an audible hiss that could be heard near by, for almost two hours.
Buildings in a four-block radius in downtown Ottawa near Queen Street and O' Connor Street were evacuated.
"We could smell it," says a man who works in the area. "We got the email and we could start smelling it, so people started getting up and leaving before we got the evacuation email."
No one was injured. The LRT tunnel was also evacuated as a precaution.
The gas has since been turned off and crews are working to repair the gas main on Queen St. The city says all surrounding streets have been reopened. Ottawa Fire has also given the all clear to buildings in the area.
Queen closed from Elgin to O'Connor - gas leak. Duration unknown. Avoid area and use other routes. #otttraffic— City of Ottawa (@ottawacity) May 2, 2017
Albert closed from Elgin to O'Connor - gas leak. Duration unknown. Avoid area and use other routes. #otttraffic— City of Ottawa (@ottawacity) May 2, 2017
gas will not be turned off for at least an hour says Ottawa Fire.— Graham Richardson (@grahamctv) May 2, 2017
@ctvottawa No photos but I was just evacuated from 155 Queen street and it's mayhem! You could smell the gas and hearing the loud hissing.— Julie O'Hara (@BebeJules) May 2, 2017
I’ve never heard anything so loud as what is happening at Queen and O’Connor. Stunk of gas as well. Deafening noise. People calm, others ran— ottguy (@ottguy) May 2, 2017
Can smell gas from the leak on Queen Street all the way from the ByWard Market. Heading to leak site now. #ottnews— Michael Woods (@michaelrwoods) May 2, 2017
Explosion and gas leak on Queen Street— CTV Ottawa (@ctvottawa) May 2, 2017
Four buildings to be evacuated