Chattanooga firefighters evacuated six businesses and shut down several blocks of Central Avenue on Wednesday after a private construction crew broke a 2-inch gas line at the corner of East 16th Street and Central Avenue.
Chattanooga Gas employees spent about an hour an a half working to stop the leak after it was reported at 10:32 a.m., and were forced to use jackhammers and backhoes to dig down to the break.
Employees sealed the leak at 11:55 a.m., according to fire department spokesman Bruce Garner.
While they worked, Chattanooga firefighters blocked Central Avenue from Main Street to 18th Street. The natural gas spewed quickly from the leak, but was quickly dissipated by fairly heavy winds.
Capt. Scott McCullough said from the scene Wednesday that routine gas leaks take about 30 minutes to contain.
"Since they have to dig up the road to get to this one, it takes a lot longer," he said.
Five fire companies responded to the scene. No one was injured and there was never any fire, Garner said. Hamilton County EMS also responded.
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