National Road closed, businesses evacuated, after gas leak

A large gas line was struck by heavy machinery at the new Kroger site at 3080 N. National Road in Columbus on Tuesday afternoon. Officials say the rupture was caused by a worker operating a backhoe at the construction site.

The initial call was received by dispatch workers at 2:44 p.m. The Columbus Fire Department  responded to the scene within minutes and began evacuating nearby businesses. Capt. Mike Wilson, spokesman for the fire department, says that four businesses had to close, at least temporarily, as a result of the gas leak. They were identified as: Fazolis, Sunbelt Rentals, Top Dog Car Wash and Nichols Body Shop.

Wilson says that the gas line that was damaged was originally reported as being a 12-inch line. Once the scene was evaluated, he says that it was actually a six-inch gas line with approximately 54 pounds of pressure per square inch. CFD officials say that Vectren workers were finally able to stop the flow of natural gas at 5:44 p.m. There has been no word from Vectren as to the extent of the damages and when the line was, or will be, completely repaired. Capt. Wilson stressed that, at no time, was the general public in any danger from the gas leak.

The accident also resulted in both directions of National Road being closed, from Central Avenue to Middle Road. Officials say that closure went in to effect just before 3 p.m. The road was reopened to traffic at 6:03 p.m.