Repairs underway after gas escaped in South Loop

A gas line is being repaired this afternoon after after construction crews damaged it, causing gas to escape in the South Loop this morning, according to the Chicago Fire Department.

About 12:20 p.m. the incident was under control with no injuries, said the department.

The accident happened when contractors for a cell phone company damaged the line at Roosevelt Road and State Street around 11:10 a.m., the department said. There was “limited evacuation of stores,’’ it said.

A hazardous materials alert was called for the incident.

“This is not a gas leak,’’ said Peoples Gas spokeswoman Jennifer Block, who clarified that natural gas escaped because workers digging damaged it, not because of integrity issues with the 2-inch, medium pressure gas line.

“We were able to turn the valve off,’’ said Block, who added crews remain on the scene as of about 1 p.m. repairing the damage.

About 50 firefighters were on the scene and 16 pieces of equipment, said a fire department official.

Traffic around that busy intersection, which includes a CTA station, a Jewel grocery, and a Walgreens, was being directed away, police said.  

Northbound traffic on State Street was being diverted westbound and traffic on Wabash Avenue was being diverted eastbound, police said. | Twitter: @RosemarySobol1

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