The St. Charles Fire Department and Nicor responded Tuesday afternoon to a gas leak after a piece of construction equipment struck a 4-inch high-pressure natural gas main along Route 25 north of Fox Glen Drive.
There were no injuries, although some residents were asked to evacuate the area for a couple of hours as Nicor crews worked to shut off the leak, said Assistant Fire Chief Joe Schelstreet.
The incident was reported at 2:47 p.m., and Schelstreet said fire crews were on the scene at 2:53 and found that a contractor had struck the natural gas line that runs adjacent to Route 25. Nicor was contacted and authorities set up a perimeter around the leak. Schelstreet said that setting up a perimeter to control access to the scene was fairly easily in this instance – largely because Route 25 already is closed for construction in the area where the leak occurred.
Schelstreet said that several residents near the leak temporarily evacuated the area at the request of firefighters.
Firefighters took continual readings with monitoring equipment – referred to be some as “sniffers” – as Nicor crews worked to shut off the leak. Schelstreet said that is a complicated process – workers have to clear a trench around the leak and use special equipment to minimize static electricity. Then, he said, the leak must be shut off slowly, from both sides.
He said residents were cleared to return at about 4:45 p.m. Nicor was expected to work into the night to complete the repairs.