UPDATE: Ashland gas main break caused by workers laying stormwater pipe

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 | 5:35 p.m. CDT; updated 6:51 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, October 24, 2012

COLUMBIA — A gas main on North Main Street in Ashland leaked at approximately 9:30 a.m. after an unmarked, abandoned gas main in the 100 block of the street was hit by city workers, according to a City of Ashland news release. 

With assistance from local and state police departments, the Southern Boone County Fire Protection District evacuated residents within a 400-foot radius of the gas main. The evacuation included the downtown district and Southern Boone County middle and high schools. The evacuation was lifted around 11:15 a.m. 

Ashland City Administrator Kelly Henderson said it took about 1 1/2 hours for the leak to be shut down. Henderson said there were no injuries or illnesses as a cause of the leak or the evacuation. There was no property damage reported at the time the release was written, according to the news release. 

The fire protection district received the first call about the leak at 9:34 a.m. After the leak was stopped, the last fire units left the area at about noon, said Price Nichols, public information officer with the Southern Boone County Fire Protection District.

The gas main, owned and operated by Ameren Missouri, was unmarked and abandoned, according to the news release. The company responded by shutting the gas supply off to the main. 

East Route M between Henry Clay Boulevard and South Palis Nichols Road were closed for about 20 minutes until about 11:20 a.m., according to the Missouri Department of Transportation. 

Henderson said the gas main should be repaired by the end of the business day.

Supervising editor is Katherine Reed.

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