Gas Leak Closes Section Of Route 22; Forces Evacuations

good evening, i'm rob vaughn..>> and i'm wendy davis. first at 10... a construction worker punctures a natural gas line... emergency crews scramble.... and part of a busy highway is shut down. >> what an evening rush in the phillipsburg, new jersey area. the gas plume could be seen from miles away. and route 22 traffic was stopped in both directions for 3 hours in lopatcong township. wfmz's will lewis joins us now live in the studio with more on the story, will? emergency crews tell us on a scale of 1 to 10 this gas leak had the potential to be an 8. while no one was hurt, those around the scene say it was scary. >> reporter traffic was backed up for miles and emergency crews including the warren county hazmat team were on the scene of a massive gas leak in lopatcong township, new jersey. >> sgt. william spencer, lopatcong police dept."when we responded we saw the gas plummeting out of the ground. notified the gas company, fire, first aid, had to shut the highway due to safet reasons.">> reporter witnesses said a natural gas plume was shooting high into the air and looked like fog. officials say the leak started when a construction worker building a fence behind av auto salespunctured an unmarked gas line. owners say they thought all of the lines were marked.>> atef elyazgy, co-owner av auto sales"the gas company, they came here and they marked where all the gas lines is. but we know behind the building there is no gas lines. they don't mark it.">> reporter marvin cole says he ran out of his home without any shoes on. the leak happen right in his backyard.>> marvin cole, home is next to gas leak"i was sitting on the porch cooking supper, having steak and stuff. the guy comes running over, shut the gas off we got a gas leak.">> reporter police evacuated people in the phillipsburg diner and closed route 22 between the phillipsburg mall and the route 57 split. the elizabethtown gas company is patching up the leak. witnesses say this accident could have been a lot worse.>> marvin cole, home is next to gas leak"it would have wiped that house off the map. so i told them let's get away

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