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Separate gas leaks prompt two evacuations in Halifax

July 16, 2013, Halifax – Separate natural gas leaks caused two neighbourhoods in Halifax to be evacuated Tuesday.

July 16, 2013
By The Canadian Press

July 16, 2013, Halifax – Separate natural gas leaks caused two neighbourhoods in Halifax to be evacuated Tuesday.

Const. Pierre Bourdages of the Halifax Regional Police said the first leak happened when a construction crew contracted by Heritage Gas to perform routine maintenance work punctured a main gas line on South Park Street around 9:30 a.m.

Several dozen homes in the south end were evacuated and roads in about a five-block area were closed to traffic. The city said more than 300 people had to leave their homes and were given access to air-conditioned buses.

Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency said the gas was turned off around 11:15 a.m. and people started returning to their homes.

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The city said there were no injuries.

It said some natural gas made its way into the sewer system but once the leak was plugged, the gas dissipated.

A hospital in the area, the IWK Health Centre, put surgeries on hold because it had to switch to a backup generator until its power was turned on again during the noon hour. Its emergency room operated normally.

Neera Ritcey of Nova Scotia Power said the utility initially cut electricity to 7,300 customers because of the gas leak.

Later, the fire department said on its Twitter feed that a second gas leak on Gaston Road in Dartmouth led to the evacuation of three apartment buildings and eight to 10 homes. That leak was fixed by mid-afternoon and power was restored to the neighbourhood.


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