Construction workers hit natural gas line near Greenville apartments

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 1:38 pm on Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Firefighters and officers from the Greenville Department of Public Safety evacuated three building complexes as precaution to a gas leak at the new MCC building. — Daily News/Kelli Ameling

GREENVILLE — Residents from three apartment buildings on Maplewood Street were evacuated for a short time Wednesday morning due to a natural gas leak.

The Greenville Department of Public Safety was dispatched to Maplewood and Elmwood streets in Greenville for a possible gas leak at 9:57 a.m. Wednesday.

“No one is immediate danger,” Director Michael Pousak said at the scene.

Sgt. Brian Blomstrom said construction workers working at the new Montcalm Community College site (MCC) hit a natural gas line, which was less than 2 inches diameter, while digging

Residents from Maplewood Square apartments were evacuated from three buildings as a precaution to the situation, Blomstrom said.

MCC turned off its HVAC system to prevent the smell of gas easily getting into the school.

Greenville Public Schools (GPS) were also notified as a precaution, and the school sent a bus over to the area to give the evacuated residents a place to sit.

“We just wanted them all to be aware,” Blomstrom said. “We (appreciate) GPS sending a bus for (the residents).”

Sgt. Josh McConkie, left, and Public Safety Officer Wayne Dillon look over the area of where a natural gas line was struck by construction workers. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

On of the residents, Marilyn Webster, was unable to get on the bus because of just having knee surgery. To help make her and friends comfortable, another resident brought chairs out for them.

“I am thankful for the good weather,” Webster said.

Webster’s friend, Wanda Roberts, agreed she was comfortable and was happy the officers were taking precautions.

“I am thankful for the warning,” Roberts said.

Blomstrom said there were enough members from the department on scene in case something did happen while waiting for DTE Energy to arrive to cap off the leak.

The department was clear of the scene as of 11:30 a.m.

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