Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Public safety

Homes evacuated after car crashes into Clearwater gas line

CLEARWATER — Firefighters evacuated about 40 homes in the area of Betty Lane N and Palmetto Street about 8:40 p.m. Saturday night after a car crashed into a gas line in the area.

The driver of the car lost control and came to rest on top of a 6-inch high-pressure natural gas line, causing the line to leak, officials said. No one was injured in the crash.

The driver of the car fled the scene, officials said.

Gas was flowing freely from the line for about 40 minutes before being plugged, said Clearwater public safety spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts. Firefighters evacuated homes within a four block radius.

Authorities also blocked traffic on nearby roads. Clearwater Gas System was notified and responded. Authorities remained at the scene after 10 p.m. as the car was lifted off the gas line to ensure no further leaks.

Residents were allowed back into their homes at 10:45 p.m. after the car was removed.

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