Construction-site gas leak closes part of Ninth Street

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 | 7:54 p.m. CDT; updated 7:57 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Firefighters evacuated a restaurant and nearby residents after a gas leak Tuesday on Ninth Street in downtown Columbia.

COLUMBIA — Chipotle and several other units behind the restaurant off Ninth Street were evacuated Tuesday after construction crews hit a gas line.

Just after 5 p.m., the Columbia Fire Department and Ameren Missouri found a leak in a 2-inch gas line behind Chipotle at the construction site of the Lofts at 308 Ninth, said Columbia Fire Department Battalion Chief James Weaver. The apartment building is scheduled to open in August 2013.

The leak was caused by construction, Weaver said.

The construction site, Chipotle and the units behind Chipotle were all evacuated, Weaver said.

Weaver said EMS workers checked out several people who reported headaches, but they all refused treatment.

Firefighters found no readings of gas in any of the shops on Ninth Street between Elm Street and University Avenue, Weaver said.

Weaver said that although there is a significant amount of gas in the air, it isn't dangerous.

"Because the gas is lighter than air, it is mixing with the air so it's not hazardous," Weaver said.

Crews shut off gas to the damaged line at 6:20 p.m., according to a news release from the Columbia Fire Department.

Supervising editor is Jacob Kirn.

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