Crews clear gas leak in West Lafayette

Emergency personnel are on scene of a gas leak on Pierce Street near Purdue University's campus. (WLFI Photo)
Emergency personnel are on scene of a gas leak on Pierce Street near Purdue University's campus. (WLFI Photo)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A gas leak in West Lafayette forced many people to evacuate their homes, businesses and classes Tuesday afternoon. The gas has been turned off and people have been cleared to return to their areas. But crews are still working on many unforeseen issues caused by the gas leak.

According to the West Lafayette Police Department, a crew working in the 100 block of Pierce Street accidentally struck a gas line around 4:10 pm Thursday.

People in Rawls Hall, and homes and businesses near Purdue University’s campus were required to evacuate for hours.

The gas leak was shut off by Vectren around 7 p.m.

Officials said gas levels are back to normal in the area; no longer posing a threat to anyone.

Fortunately, no one was injured. But residents in the area said they were stuck outside for hours.

“I was walking home from class. I hit the Rawls building and you could smell the gas,” said student Allie O’Brien. “There were cops and they said go the other way.”

Student Zhuoheng Xie said, “When I just want to try to move my car, it was stuck here. They just evacuated the people around the street and they blocked the street.”

Crews were still working in the blocked off area hours after the gas line was struck and shut off.

Officials said when the gas line broke, so did the water line. The water then flooded access to the gas line.

Indiana American Water was on scene late Tuesday, draining the water to make it feasible for crews to have access to repair the gas line.

Duke Energy was also on scene, ensuring the telephone pole line near the water and gas lines stayed sturdy, while crews drained the water.

UPDATE: Vectren’s crews repaired the leak and have since cleared the scene. We do not have an exact time, but News 18 was told it was sometime early Wednesday morning.